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Iran News in Brief – February 25, 2024

paris world women day 2024 crowd



Tragedy Strikes in Zirkuh Stone Mine: One Worker Dead, Another Injured Due to Gas Poisoning

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In a devastating incident at the Shajr Stone Mine in Zirkuh County, South Khorasan Province, toxic carbon monoxide gas claimed the lives of two workers, aged 28 and 22, while another sustained injuries.

According to reports from the ILNA news agency, the toxic gas leak occurred in the rest area of the Shajr Stone Mine, leading to the tragic deaths and injuries of the workers.

Earlier this year, Massoud Ghadipasha, the Deputy for Medical and Laboratory Affairs at the regime’s forensic organization, claimed that the fatalities resulting from work-related accidents last year numbered around 1,900 workers.

Iranian Opposition Leader: “Pioneer Women to Spearhead the Regime’s Overthrow”

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At an international conference in Paris on Saturday, Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi emphasized that resolving the crises in the Middle East hinges on “the overthrow of Iran’s fundamentalist religious dictatorship.”

Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, delivered the keynote address at the conference, organized in the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8.

The conference highlighted the pivotal role of Iranian women in sustaining the tense state of Iranian society, often characterized as ’embers beneath ashes,’ and advocated for strategies of resistance against the theocratic regime.

Dozens of prominent women political figures, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former senior officials, parliamentarians, and women’s activists from North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East addressed the conference.

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Iran Faces Unprecedented Public Dissent Ahead of Parliamentary Elections

cropped bnn logoAs the streets of Iran buzz with the usual pre-election fervor, a different kind of energy seems to be taking hold this time around. In the lead-up to what has been described by many as sham parliamentary elections, a significant portion of the Iranian populace is showing its disdain for the proceeding’s perceived lack of legitimacy. At the heart of this resistance are the Resistance Units, associated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), who are making their voices heard loud and clear: a call for regime change over participation in elections.

In an unprecedented display of dissent, placards and billboards have sprung up in various cities across Iran, courtesy of the Resistance Units. These messages are unambiguous in their intent, emphasizing the need for a revolution rather than an election, a rejection of any form of dictatorship, and a commitment to overthrowing the religious dictatorship that currently holds power.

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UPDATE: 12:30 AM

Amidst Fears of Nationwide Boycott, Khamenei’s Reps Beg for Voter Turnout

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In a series of fervent speeches during Friday prayers on February 23, representatives of Iran’s clerical establishment across several provinces made impassioned calls for citizens’ participation in the upcoming sham elections amidst heightened political tensions.

Hassan Ameli, the Supreme Leader’s representative in Ardabil province, said, “We’re seeing a clear division now. Take a look around and see who’s aligning with whom. Who are those who don’t want you to vote? Think carefully. Decide where you stand. These so-called hypocrites (regime’s pejorative to defame the PMOI) keep pressuring against voting.”

Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, the Supreme Leader’s representative in Markazi province, said, “I urge you, my dear brothers and sisters, don’t turn your back to the ballot boxes. Don’t turn your back to our leadership. We need to stay vigilant.”

Abol-Hasan Mahdavi, the Friday prayer leader in Isfahan, said, “Voting in elections is more powerful than military strength. It shows our unity, resilience, and strength. Even the enemy knows the real challenge is when we vote. To maintain our security and authority, we must vote.”

Alireza Aarafi, the Friday prayer leader in Qom, said, “Let’s be clear, showing up at the polls on March 1 means we’re pledging loyalty to our leadership. This is the reality of next week’s elections. The world is watching. There’s no excuse for staying away from the ballot box.”

Mohammad-Baqer Farzaneh, the Friday prayer leader in Mashhad, said, “If people don’t turn out to vote, it weakens the system’s legitimacy. This is what our respected Leader believes. If God forbid, this happens, the damage would be immeasurable.”

Allah-Noor Karimitabar, the representative of the Supreme Leader in Ilam province, said, “Protecting the system is our duty. Today, the simplest way to do this is to vote. We have a responsibility to the leadership. Whether we vote or not matters for us here and in the afterlife. Those who say not to vote are the hypocrites, those who are siding with the enemy. We shouldn’t listen to them.”

Spanish Ex-Politician Blames Iran For Attack In Which Was Shot

MADRID, Feb 23 (Reuters) – A Spanish former politician who survived a shooting attack said on Friday he believed Iran’s government had hired hitmen to assassinate him over his links to an Iranian dissident group

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, who was shot outside his Madrid residence last Nov. 9, provided no evidence for the assertion.

Iran’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment, and police have not released details of an investigation underway into the attack.

At his first press conference since the shooting, he said he believed “the Iranian regime” ordered the attack because of his support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based coalition of dissidents that calls for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

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Women’s Active and Equal Participation in Political Leadership Is Indispensable to Democracy

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A very moving and inspirational #IWD2024 conference was held today, Saturday, February 24, 2024, in Paris. The conference featured the NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi as the keynote speaker and dozens of other influential women from around the world. Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that women’s active and equal participation in political leadership is the key to realizing gender equality in any society.

The NCRI President-elect also reiterated that women’s equality and leadership is indispensable to the fight against a misogynistic regime. She also called on young women in Iran to rise up and save the millions of women who are victims of the mullahs’ oppression, by overthrowing the regime. Following is the full text of her speech:

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Speech at An International Women’s Day Gathering

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Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s speech: “On the eve of International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to the women who have championed the cause of equality, made sacrifices, and paved the way for others, ushering in a new era. As a result of these struggles, hardships, and four decades of resistance against religious tyranny, I stand here today with pride to underscore the following truths.

“Active and equal participation of women in political leadership is essential for democracy.
The emancipation of women is a prerequisite for the emancipation of men.
The defeat of the Velayat-e Faqih regime will be accomplished by pioneering women.”

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How The Majlis Bankrolls The Iranian Regime’s War Machine

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With the presentation of Iran’s 2024 budget proposal and the announcement of a 50% increase in taxes, some regime experts have questioned why we should cover the budget deficit from the pockets of the people and what the purpose of such financial pressure is. Others have written, “With heavy taxes… it is unclear how long society can tolerate the imposed pressures.”

Confidential Majlis (parliament) documents published by the “GhiamSarnegouni” dissident group shed light on the hidden agenda behind the financial pressure, reduction of budget allocations for social services and healthcare, etc. These documents reveal that the increase in budget allocations is directed towards strengthening the repressive organs and bolstering the “defense infrastructure” of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

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US, British Forces Carry Out More Strikes Against Houthis In Yemen

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – U.S. and British forces carried out strikes against more than a dozen Houthi targets in Yemen on Saturday, officials said, the latest round of military action against the Iran-linked group that continues to attack shipping in the region.

The United States has carried out near-daily strikes against the Houthis, who control the most populous parts of Yemen, and have said their attacks on shipping are in solidarity with Palestinians as Israel strikes Gaza.

The strikes have so far failed to halt the Houthis’ attacks, which have upset global trade and raised shipping rates.

A joint statement from countries that either took part in the strikes or provided support, said the military action was against 18 Houthi targets across eight locations in Yemen including underground weapons and missile storage facilities, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – February 24, 2023