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Iran News in Brief – May 26, 2023

iranian resistance rally brussels may 23, 2023



Iran Protests at a Glance

Based partially on reporting by PMOI (MEK) Network in Iran

Friday, May 26, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

The people of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan & Baluchestan Province in southeast Iran, once again took to the streets on Friday, May 26, in a new round of anti-regime protests and demonstrations. These courageous people have continued their weekly protests despite the regime’s intense crackdown against their community.

Their slogans were:

I will kill those who killed my brother!”

“Down with Khamenei!”

“Down with the dictator!”

Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or [Khamenei]!”

Political prisoners must be released!”

“Down with the IRGC!”

Down with the state of executions!”

This is the last message: the entire system is our target!”

Khamenei is a murderer! His rule is illegitimate!”

“Khamenei, have some shame! Let go of the country!”

Basij and IRGC, you are our ISIS!”

Meanwhile in Europe, as news broke out that the Belgian government has violated its Judicial System’s decree by releasing the convicted terrorist diplomat Asadollah Assadi and sending him back to Iran, supporters of the Iranian Resistance in various European cities took immediate action. They organized rallies and protested a treacherous deal that will further embolden the most active state sponsor of global terrorism.

Holding boards and images of the martyrs of the uprising, Iranians in Halle, Germany, condemned the so-called prisoner swap between Brussels and Tehran.

Elsewhere in Germany, in the city of Hamburg, Iranians protested the release of Asadollah Asadi and called on Europe to stop the failed appeasement policy vis-a-vis the terrorist regime in Iran.

In the United Kingdom, Iranian Resistance supporters gathered in front of the Belgian embassy in London and protested what they described as a systemic bowing to terrorists.

In the Swedish capital, Stockholm, a place where another Iranian official is spending jail time for crimes against humanity, supporters of the NCRI gathered in front of the Belgian embassy to censure the latest move by the de Croo government.

In Bern, Switzerland, Iranians demonstrated outside Belgian Embassy protesting the repetition of the failed and inhuman policy of kneeling down to state terrorism. The protesters warned that impunity for terrorism will further endanger innocent people on European soil and beyond.


Exiled Iran Opposition Accuses Belgium of ‘Shameful Ransom to Hostage-Taking’

AFP – An exiled Iranian opposition group Friday accused Belgium of paying a “shameful” ransom for hostage-taking after Tehran freed aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele in exchange for an Iranian diplomat convicted by a Belgian court of terrorism.

“The release of the terrorist… is a shameful ransom to terrorism and hostage-taking. This will embolden the religious fascism ruling Iran to continue its crimes,” the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said in a statement.

Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi was jailed in Belgium over a 2018 plot to bomb an NCRI opposition rally outside Paris. He is now heading back to Tehran after the exchange brokered by Oman.

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Iranian Opposition Condemns Assadi’s Release: ‘Shameful Concession’

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The Iranian opposition says it strongly condemns the release of Iran’s sham diplomat Assadollah Assadi. This is contrary to the ruling of the Constitutional Court, according to the National Council of Iranian Resistance in Belgium (NCRI). In a response to Belga on Friday, she said that she was not aware of the transfer of Assadi to Iran via the Sultanate of Oman. “The release of this terrorist diplomat comes at a time when the Constitutional Court had clearly stated in its ruling that the Belgian government should inform the victims before handing over the convicts so that they have the opportunity to return to court.”

The NCRI also talks about “an embarrassing concession to blackmail for terrorism and hostage-taking, in clear violation of the court order.” “This will encourage religious fascism, which rules Iran, to continue its crimes in the areas of domestic repression and regional and international terrorism.”

Iranian Opposition Condemns Assadi’s Release: ‘A Shameful Ransom for Terrorism’

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After suspending it, the Constitutional Court finally validated in March that the treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons concluded between Iran and Belgium. It had, however, required the Belgian authorities to inform the civil parties of Mr. Assadi’s release in order to enable them to appeal. However, the latter, contacted by the Belga Agency, ensure that they have not been informed of the transfer of Mr. Assadi to Iran via the Sultanate of Oman. “Encouraging terrorism and betraying human rights by violating the decision of the Constitutional Court” was the title of the statement sent after the announcement. “The release of this diplomat-terrorist comes as the Constitutional Court had made it clear in its ruling that the Belgian government must inform the victims before transferring the convicts so that they have the opportunity to return to court,” the NCRI said.

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Advises British Nationals Against All Travel to Iran


British and British-Iranian dual nationals are at significant risk of arbitrary arrest, questioning or detention in Iran. Holding a British passport can be reason enough for the Iranian authorities to target you. If you are detained in Iran, you could face months or years in prison. Our ability to provide consular assistance is extremely limited. In an emergency – such as a serious deterioration in the security situation – it is extremely unlikely the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide assistance on the ground in Iran. If you are a British national already resident in Iran, you should carefully consider your presence there and the risks you are taking by remaining.

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“The Iranian People Are Ready To Overthrow the Regime”, Opposition Leader Tells MEPs

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The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, has urged MEPs to support a much tougher stance by the EU and its member states against the theocratic regime in Tehran. She said the people of her country had risen against religious fascism and she criticised European inaction in response to the executions of protesters, writes Political Editor Nick Powell.

Maryam Rajavi returned to the European Parliament four years after her last visit, a period that has seen a massive growth in popular resistance to the rule of the mullahs in lran. She is now President-elect of the preeminent opposition body, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Her struggle has lasted a lifetime, since she took part in student protests against the dictatorial rule of the last Shah.

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France Says Iran Ballistic Test Worrying in Light of Nuclear Escalation

PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) – France on Thursday accused Iran of violating a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal after it carried out a long-range ballistic missile test, which Paris said was worrying given “uninterrupted escalation” of Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Iran successfully test-launched a ballistic missile with a potential 2,000-km range on Thursday, state media said, the latest in ballistic missile tests and satellite launches.

“These activities are all the more worrying in the context of the continuing escalation of Iran’s nuclear programme”, French foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters at a daily briefing.

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Conference at the European Parliament – Iran: Prospects for Change and EU Policy

European Parliament EP Vice Presidents Free Iran

NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi’s speech at the European Parliament meeting on May 24: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet with you, representatives of the European nations, who have courageously supported the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy. As I speak to you today, the Iranian regime has started a new and unprecedented wave of executions. One hundred and sixteen prisoners have been executed since the beginning of May. It means one execution every 5 hours. Three young protesters, who had been detained and tortured for months in Isfahan, were executed last Friday. The regime uses executions to create an atmosphere of terror and prevent an uprising. Despite massive repression, however, people protested these brutal executions in Tehran and various other cities. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a lack of action from the European Union and its member states.”

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Iran’s Popular Protests Continue as Truckers Expand Nationwide Strike

Trucker drivers in Isfahan central Iran continue their strike as part of a nationwide initiative May 24

Iran’s nationwide uprising is witnessing its 252nd day on Thursday as people from different sectors of society in various cities are continuing their anti-regime protests. The country’s nosediving economy, thanks to the mullahs’ corrupt and/or destructive policies, or lack of any policies at all, is pushing more and more people into poverty. The country’s truck drivers, who are also barely making ends meet, are expanding their nationwide strike into the fourth day today as their demands have been falling on deaf ears among the mullahs’ incompetent and crooked regime. People throughout Iran continue to specifically hold the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei responsible for their miseries, while also condemning the oppressive Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and paramilitary Basij units, alongside other security units that are on the ground suppressing the peaceful demonstrators.

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Soada Khadirzadeh and Infant Daughter Re-Arrested Shortly After Temporary Release

Soada Khadirzadeh re arrested with her child min

Agents of the Intelligence Department of Piranshahr re-arrested Soada Khadirzadeh and her one-year-old daughter on Friday, May 19, 2023, only several hours after she left prison on temporary leave. Soada Khadirzadeh is a Kurdish political prisoner imprisoned in the women’s ward of the Central Prison of Urmia. Ms. Khadirzadeh was arrested while she had received leave in the evening of the previous day, Thursday, May 18, and arrived at a relative’s house in Piranshahr from Urmia. According to an informed source, Soada Khadirzadeh and her daughter, Ala, were returned to the women’s ward of Urmia Central Prison after 48 hours of imprisonment at the detention center of the Intelligence Department of Piranshahr.

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Iran’s Workers Face Rising Rent and Unattainable Mortgages

Iran Homelessness

Statistics show that Tehran is the most challenging capital city worldwide for purchasing a house. The cost of an average house in Tehran is estimated to be equivalent to 158 years of wages for individuals in lower-income occupations. In comparison, the corresponding figure for Muscat is less than five years, Islamabad approximately 47.8 years, Seoul around 30.4 years, and Lisbon roughly 30.2 years. The plight of workers has taken an even more tragic turn, as they now encounter excruciating challenges even when attempting to rent a house. Housing has transformed into a monstrous issue within the country, while the officials residing in opulent palaces remain indifferent to this critical situation. Furthermore, the surge in prices of basic goods has endangered the ability of disadvantaged workers to have children and establish families, compounding their struggles even further.

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Call To Save Abbas (Mojahed) Kourkouri, Facing the Threat of Execution

HRM Mojahed

Abbas Kourkouri, also known as Mojahed, was born on May 2, 1983, and is from Izeh. His father’s name is Abolghasem. He has six sisters and is unmarried. The Iranian judiciary has charged him with Moharebeh (waging war on God) and sentenced him to death. On December 20, 2022, Counter Intelligence forces, armed with heavy weapons, attacked the village of Par Surakh near Izeh, where Mojahed and his friends were staying. During this attack, Hossein Saeedi and Mahmoud Ahmadi were killed, and Mojahed Kourkouri was arrested. Official Iranian media released a video of this attack entitled “The Operation of Arresting Kian Pirfalak’s Murderers.” They claimed these individuals had opened fire at the Pirfalk family’s car and carried out terrorist operations in Izeh.

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Child Marriage as a Form of Violence Against Children in Iran in 2023

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In many developed and industrialized nations, the concept of child marriage (young girls, aged 13 to 16, marrying significantly older men) is viewed as unethical, unacceptable, and illegal. However, child marriage continues to be a prevalent issue in Iran, violating the individual and human rights of children and exposing them to numerous physical, psychological, and social challenges. The United Nations (UN) recognized all individuals under 18 as children by approving the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” in 1989. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urges governments to raise the legal marriage age to 18 if it falls below this threshold in their respective countries. Despite Iran conditionally signing the convention in 1994, it openly violates many provisions due to conflicts with the so-called “Islamic laws.”

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Brussels—May 24, 2023: MEK Supporters Rallied and Expressed Their Support for a Free and Democratic Iran ‘With Maryam Rajavi’

Brussels, European Parliament—May 24, 2023: Freedom-Loving Iranians and MEK Supporters Rally.

Brussels, European Parliament—May 24, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a rally in front of the European Parliament to express their support for a free and democratic Iran ‘With Maryam Rajavi‘. They also express their solidarity with the ongoing Iranian Revolution.

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Iran Policy Podcast—Dowlat Nowrouzi: European Lawmakers Support Iran Protests

Dowlat Nowrouzi: European Lawmakers Support Iran Protests | Iran Policy Podcast #6

Also, read Iran News in Brief – May 25, 2023