Iran, January. 11, 2019 – On Thursday, the workers of Haft Tappeh sugar mill, located in Khuzestan province’s Shush city, went on strike and demonstrated in front of the offices of the managers of the company.
The workers held a gathering at the
location of the factory and declared they would not be working because
the company has not paid their salaries. The workers had said that if
their demands are not met, they will go on strike and return to the
streets of Shush for demonstrations. Come Thursday, they began their
strike as promised.
It’s worth mentioning that the Iranian
regime’s prosecutor’s office had previously declared that the workers’
paychecks for the month of November would be paid on Tuesday, January 8.
But the prosecutor’s office later revoked its declaration and said
there would be no payment before the sugarcane harvest enters the
The strike is taking place following a
declaration made by a group of workers of Haft Tapeh. The organizers had
called on their co-workers to protest in their workplaces and to go on
strike if they don’t get their two-month-overdue paychecks.
Haft Tappeh is Iran’s largest sugarcane factory and employs thousands of workers in Khuzestan.
The workers of Haft Tappeh went on a month-long strike in November, demanding the payment of their overdue salaries and the removal of the company’s private owners, whose mismanagement and corrupt policies have caused the deterioration of work conditions for the factory’s workers.
During their protests, the workers of Haft Tappeh earned the support and respect of many communities and various segments of the Iranian society. The strike of Haft Tapeh also became strongly tied to the protests by the steel workers of Ahvaz, who had been striking for similar reasons.
Fearing the strike would trigger protests
in other parts of the country, the Iranian regime cracked down on the
protesters, arresting several of the workers and taking them to prison.
Esmail Bakhshi, one of the representatives of the workers who was
arrested and imprisoned by the Iranian regime’s security forces,
recently published a detailed account of the tortures he was subjected to during his incarceration.
The Iranian regime has resorted to similar
measures against the steel workers of Ahvaz. But without responding to
the fundamental and basic needs of the workers, the regime has only
managed to buy a limited amount of time for itself. As the resurgence of
the protests of Haft Tapeh sugarcane workers shows, it is only a matter
of time before the flame of protests will rise from under the ashes of
Iran, Jan. 2, 2019 – A large gathering of Isfahan farmers turned violent today after riot police attacked the peaceful protesters marching in the central province’s streets.
Around 2,000 farmers gathered this morning on Khaju Bridge in Isfahan to protest the diversion of Isfahan’s river to other provinces.
A large number of women were also among the protesters. Videos on social media showed Isfahan farmers chanting, “Today is a day of mourning because farmers have no livelihood”.
The farmers, who blame the government for water mismanagement and water scarcity which has all but destroyed their farmlands also chanted “shame on the deceitful government.” Riot police were dispatched to the area from the start of the gathering.
Videos from the gathering showed a large number of riot police on the scene with scuffles between police and the farmers. The farmers addressed the police and chanted, “Do not support the thieves”. The protesters also booed the police and chanted “bisharaf”, a Persian curse word meaning “dishonorable”.
Reports also indicated that riot police shot bullets in the air to disperse the protesters.
Background The Zayanderud River once watered this region, flowing down from the Zagros Mountains, through the city of Isfahan providing water for farming towns. But it dried up years ago.
Government policies have worsened the strain from drought and growing population. Authorities have increasingly built factories, sucking up large amounts of water. Water has also been diverted to other regions. “The water cycle has been annihilated.
The entire water of the river has been allocated to industry,” said an Isfahan environmental activist in July.
An Isfahan official who recently called the farmer’s plight a “catastrophe” said that some the people who were once wealthy, were currently so deprived and poverty stricken that they were covered by relief foundations such as the Emdad Foundation.
The representative of Falavarjan at the Isfahan Islamic Council blamed the farmers’ woes on the Ben-Brojen Plan, which incorporated providing a huge water supply to large industrial factories, the use of the water for other areas and many other decisions that resulted from mismanagement. Environmentalists have for years been setting off alarms about the threat of droughts in Iran which stems from mismanagement, the excessive use of groundwater sources, and the construction of a large number of dams primarily carried out by companies affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The latest official numbers say that in the provinces of Fars, South Khorasan and Isfahan, groundwater sources have dried up while dam reserves were 25 to 50% lower than last year.
The arrest of representatives of Ahvaz Steel workers and protesters, which started last midnight (Sunday, December 16), continued on Monday, December 17. The number of detainees has reached dozens, the names of 31 of whom have been published so far.
At the same time, the mullahs’ regime had stationed repressive forces from the Ministry of Intelligence, riot police and forces affiliated with the IRGC and IRGC intelligence in various sensitive locations in Ahvaz so that workers could not continue their protests. However, the workers, despite the fact that they were surrounded by oppressive forces in some places, continued to demonstrate with slogans such as: “Imprisoned workers must be freed”.
Workers, being threatened by repressive forces, said they would continue their demonstrations until the release of the arrested and achieving their demands. Workers and laborers from different parts of Iran, including the Tehran Bus Company workers’ syndicate and truck drivers in various parts of Iran, expressed their solidarity with Ahvaz workers and called for the immediate release of the detainees.
Saluting the brave and adamant workers of Ahvaz, the Iranian Resistance described the brutal and mass arrests on Sunday night and on Monday as indication of the frustration of religious fascism in the face of the strikes and protests of workers, and called on all workers and youth and students, especially in Ahvaz and Khuzestan, to support the striking workers of Ahvaz. It also called on international human rights and workers’ rights advocates and workers’ unions and syndicates in different countries to support the striking workers who are protesting for their basic rights, and to take necessary measures for the release of the arrestees.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran December 17, 2018
Iran, Dec. 3, 2018 – As the regime ruling Iran faces increasing regional and global isolation, protests and strikes are escalating across the country, causing an even more concerning crisis for the mullahs’ regime.
A group of retired teachers from across Iran rallied in the capital, Tehran, on Sunday, protesting not receiving answers to their demands. Their gathering was held outside Rouhani’s office.
Minibus drivers were rallying outside Tehran’s City Council building, protesting unjust fines imposed on their line of work.
A group of drivers of the Greater Tehran Bus
Drivers Syndicate, and members of the Sepidar 2 and 3 housing projects,
rallied outside the company office building demanding their houses
after placing down payments.
In Hamedan, western Iran, taxi drivers launched a strike on Sunday protesting heavy tolls imposed on their line of work.
High school students in Najaf Abad, central Iran, rallied on Sunday protesting poor educational programs, the addition of irrelevant books and criteria. Their gathering was held outside the city’s Education Department.
Employees of the Bandar Shapour municipality in southern Iran held a protest rally demanding their delayed paychecks.
Bandar-e Khomeini – Municipality workers holding a protest rally
City rail workers of Ahvaz rallied for the second day on Sunday, protesting the fact that their paychecks have been delayed for 18 months. The workers were seen spreading symbolic table sheets on the ground to indicate they have nothing to eat.
Sources from across Iran are continuing to report numerous protests and strikes by people from all walks of life.
In Kerman, clients of
the Caspian credit firm, associated with the Revolutionary Guards
(IRGC), held a protest rally outside the company branch chanting:
“Where is the people’s money?”
“With all this embezzlement, where are the thieves heading?”
“Thieves are all hand in hand, closing the path of justice”
In Karaj, west of
Tehran, personnel of the local Khomeini Hospital held a rally once again
on Thursday, demanding their delayed pay checks.
In Sabzevar, northeast
Iran, a group of Hakim Sabzevari University students held a gathering
protesting intensive security atmosphere and crackdown measures on
campus. The students are saying one of the university’s deputy deans is
constantly opening more cases against student activists.
In Babol, northern
Iran, clients of a regime-linked credit firm rallied on this day,
demanding their stolen money returned. This gathering was held outside
the city’s mayor office.
western Iran, municipality workers of the city’s third district held a
protest rally demanding their pay checks that have been delayed for the
past few months.
Washington, DC, March 26 – At a dinner reception at the Mayflower Hotel on March 23rd, marking the Iranian New Year or Nowruz , several bipartisan former senior U.S. officials spoke on the need for a firm policy to counter the Iranian regime’s malign activities in the Middle East, its pursuit of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and its crackdown on Iranian citizens.
Members of the diplomatic corps in Washington, DC were also present at the event, which was organized by the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US). Soona Samsami, the NCRI’s Washington Representative, pointed to the December and January uprisings in 142 cities across Iran as a watershed moment as the uprising continues. “On this new year, this new day, we are confident that the era of this detested theocracy is at an end. The horizon holds promise of the rise of a new, free, democratic, secular and a non-nuclear republic in Iran,” Samsami said.
Several of these notable political figures made remarks at the Nowruz celebration, declaring their support for change in Iran and expressing their desires for a brighter future on the occasion of the New Year.
The first Secretary for U.S. Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge noted that with all the developments inside Iran, regionally and internationally, the prospects for regime change and the establishment of an independent, free, and democratic Iran are brighter than ever. “Think of the progress that has been made…those incredible rallies in Paris, France…and those people who showed their support internationally. Think of six or seven years ago and then fast forward and you see delegations from around the world standing in unity in support of the MEK and Madame Rajavi and a free and independent Iran, a tolerant Iran that enjoys the liberties and freedoms,” said Governor Ridge.
Former Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli emphasized that “Each and every one of us commit this year to confront with the same determination as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and every member of the MEK, who no matter what it takes, how long it takes, no matter how great the sacrifice, no matter how much the effort, that at long, long last the mullahs will fall, freedom will rise.”
Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, stated “I’m here to salute and to thank the members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the members of the Mujahideen-e Khalq, and the brave citizens of Iran…. You are helping America to discover what we stand for as well. And for that, I will always be in your debt.”
Ambassador Robert Joseph, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, underlined the role of the Resistance in recent uprisings in Iran. “It is very important, I think, to note that the MEK is in the vanguard of the uprisings that we are witnessing and have been witnessing for the last number of months….Madam Rajavi plays an extremely important role by uniting the people of Iran, by providing incentives to those people, by providing inspiration to the people who are risking their lives for the freedom, not only of themselves and their families, but the freedom of all of the people of Iran,” he stated.
Mr. Kenneth Blackwell, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, stressed, “If we are to make our contribution to freedom and to the recognition of the human dignity of others, we must not hide our special light under a bushel. I would just celebrate with you the fact that the MEK and those in the Diaspora have not hid their candle under a bushel, but they have used their candle to light other candles. Together we have rushed the darkness of our time and we have punched holes in the darkness. We have given hope.”
Others highlighted the bright future of Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, which traditionally marks a fresh start or new beginning for those that celebrate it. “This is a year of destiny for us and a year of destiny for Iran. Every year, every Nowruz we take one more step further in achieving the goal that we all share for the people of Iran, for the supporters of the MEK, for Madame Rajavi, to help restore democracy to Iran,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg.
Col. Wes Martin, the senior anti-terrorism and force protection officer for all coalition forces in Iraq, said “I want one big round of applause for the 2,500 people now living in Albania who struggled through Ashraf and Camp Liberty. Those people are our heroes. They endured the toughest of times and they showed us what the price of liberty is, and the fact that they were willing to pay it, and unfortunately 141 of them did pay it… They survived the toughest of times, like the people who are inside Iran right now. They have stood up and they said, ‘We’re going to right and we’re going to make a difference. And they are making a difference.’ The world is hearing them.”
“I salute all of the MEK residents in Albania and I want to wish each of you a happy Nowruz,” added Col. Tom Cantwell, the first commander of Camp Ashraf in 2003. “Indeed, it is a new year. It is a new year here in America with new government and new people in charge, and we hope that it means new policy and new relationship with Iran. And we hope that that includes a new relationship between the United States government and the Iranian resistance,” he said.
Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan, director, M.S. in Negotiations and Conflict Management program of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore added, “Every great freedom movement must eventually come to terms with the fact that to confront injustice, one must acknowledge that it exists. And every movement for freedom must put it on display for the world to see. Therefore, here in Washington, around the world, every believer in democracy and human rights should keep a close eye on Iran in the year ahead. Because it’s my firm conviction that with support from the international community, the Iranian people may finally achieve a new system of government that embraces not only democracy but also civil and political, religious and cultural liberty for Iranians of every demographic background.”
In addition to these remarks, renowned Iranian composer and conductor Mohammad Shams was joined by Behi and Afshari to perform a number of Iranian musical pieces while Uncle Nowruz, a traditional figure of the holiday, distributed Persian nuts to the guests.
In a report to Congress regarding sanctions on Iran, it was mentioned that under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran benefits from lots of sanctions relief in return for certain restrictions that are laid out under UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
However, there are numerous flaws in the agreement and President Donald Trump said that he will not renew any more waivers if his conditions for fixing the deal are not met. Trump has already made the decision not to certify Iranian compliance and it leaves the door open to Congress to reimpose sanctions.
If sanctions were reimposed, Iran’s already suffering economy would certainly be harmed further. Previous sanctions seriously affected crude oil exports in 2011 and sanctions relief allowed the economy to stabilize, and even grow, in 2016 and 2017. The re imposition of sanctions will have a profound negative effect on oil once again, and the economy as a whole.
Foreign energy firms have started to make investments in the energy sector of Iran and large aircraft manufacturers have made big deals for the sale of commercial aircraft. However, despite numerous positive contributions to the Iranian economy, the people of Iran are extremely unhappy with their economic, political and social position resulting in widespread protests at the end of last year.
One of the major grievances of the people of Iran is the fact that the religious leadership of the country is plundering the wealth of the nation on the export of terrorism and extremism. The Iranian regime is using the country’s revenues and resources to destabilize the Middle East and to create weapons of mass destruction and to manufacture missiles.
Instead of ensuring that the public health care and the social conditions are of an adequate standard, the Iranian regime sends millions of dollars per year to its proxies and militias that are spreading chaos on its behalf across the Middle East. The “security” budget, essentially a military budget, used to kill, suppress and torture the people of Iran, amounts to millions.
The people of Iran are denied freedom, democracy and human rights. There are currently countless human rights defenders, lawyers, religious and ethnic minorities, activists, and so on, that have unfairly been imprisoned in the country.
During the recent protests and anti-government demonstrations, the security forces fired shots at unarmed protesters and thousands of Iranians were arrested. Some people have also died under suspicious circumstances while in prison.
Despite calls from the international community, the Iranian regime continues to commit crimes against humanity. This and the regime’s plundering of the nation’s wealth will never change. It has had plenty of chances to reform in the past but it still chooses the wrong way of leading the country. It is for this reason that the people are calling for regime change – they know it is the only way to ensure Iran has a positive and hopeful future. And it is the responsibility of the international community to help them achieve this and to help it get a new, fair and democratic leadership that puts the people first.