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MEK Resistance Units Prove Tehran’s Surveillance Network Fragile

Today, as state preparations for the death anniversary of former regime supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini were going on and the entire security apparatus was on high alert due to high tensions in all major Iranian cities, the Resistance Units, a network affiliated with the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK) launched a well-planned and simultaneous operation in several locations in the nation’s capital, Tehran.

According to its official website, the MEK announced that the Resistance Units have “conducted an extensive operation, in which they controlled and took down 5,138 Closed Circuit Cameras (CCTVs) installed at Khomeini’s Tomb, government centers, and different parts of the Iranian capital. This network of security cameras is controlled at a headquarters in Tehran’s Municipality.”

The targeted surveillance network is merely used to monitor and detect any dissent in society and is only accessible to offices of regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and the State Security Force Command (SSFC). A major practice of the circuit is activated during protests and many Iranians have been identified, arrested, and forcefully disappeared through the same network.

According to the MEK, the targeted surveillance cameras, have been installed in many areas of the capital, including the following:

  1. Around government offices located in Tehran’s Pasteur Street and surrounding areas, including the offices of Khamenei, Raisi, the Judiciary, the Guardian Council, the Majlis (parliament), and elsewhere.
  2. At Khomeini’s Tomb in the Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery (south of Tehran)
  3. At Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery
  4. In other parts of Tehran
  5. In streets and expressways across Tehran

Simultaneously, the Resistance Units took control over more than 150 websites and platforms of Tehran’s Municipality and images of the Iranian Resistance leadership Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi, and slogans of “Hail to Rajavi, Damned be Khomeini, Death to Khamenei” were posted on the compromised websites and platforms.

As part of the operation, the servers of the Tehran municipality were used to send SMS to more than 585,000 phones with messages, calling for regime change and a frustrated nation, sick and tired of the destructive state policies came to bear witness things it rarely does.

ارسال نیم میلیون پیامک «لعنت بر خمینی، مرگ بر خامنه‌ای، رئیسی -درودبر رجوی» بر روی موبایل

In less than two hours, the state media acknowledged the massive security breach. Tehran’s Municipal Newsroom reported: “Important- very urgent. Following the hacking of Tehran’s Municipality Network by sworn enemies of the holy Islamic Republic, it is recommended to colleagues to be urgently on 100% alert and order the same to all those responsible for IT systems and to make all servers unavailable if necessary.”

The IRGC Quds Force-affiliated Tasnim News Agency sent a fixed line of state-approved news guideline that was used by other sources. It quoted the Public Relations of Municipal ICT Organization as saying: “Deliberate disruption in the internal page of the Tehran Municipality made this system out of the reach for colleagues for a few minutes by publishing an insulting image.”

According to the english.mojahedin.org, in this operation, the complete specifications of 269 CCTVs in Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery, 270 CCTVs in downtown Tehran, 1,377 CCTVs on Tehran’s expressways, 3,222 Milestone CCTVs in Tehran that were taken down, and complete details of 2,185 servers controlling these cameras, that were also taken over, along with 168 servers for the cameras and their security management, are being made available.

This was the latest in the strings of a series of similar operations by the Resistance Units, which bespeak of their growing effectiveness in breaking the wall of censorship, repression and intimation.

These incidents, including the disruption of 27 different state TV and radio stations along with 600 of their servers as well as defacing 64 websites and taking down hundreds of servers and computes affiliated to several governmental ministries since January 27, have cost the regime in Iran a huge amount of funds, time and energy and laid bare its weakness against an increasingly potent and organized opposition movement inside the country.

But the most vital element that might not be restored so easily, is a mentality that has a scale effect and changes the power balance between the people and the state. As the Resistance Units keep torching the regime officials’ posters and buildings day and night, while broadcasting slogans of regime change in public places and organizing protests in all corners of the country, they demonstrate to millions of Iranians that the regime is far weaker and more vulnerable than it projects itself to be.

With socio-economic hardship rendering the people’s tolerance thin, every single act against the regime is a hit to what the regime has tried to preserve with dozens of intelligence and military apparatuses and billion-dollar budgets. The Resistance Units are proving that regime change is not only possible but inevitable; one operation at a time.