07232017Sun

By Jubin Katiraie

On May 19, the Islamic Republic of Iran held hotly anticipated elections for the presidency and a number of local offices. Particularly optimistic international observers viewed it as another possible jumping-off point for internal moderation of the Iranian regime. Meanwhile, staunch critics of that regime viewed the elections as inconsequential, with the banned opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) even organizing a boycott of the polls in order to call attention to the absence of an actual reformist voice on the national stage.

By Jubin Katiraie

It is sometimes now that many US officials have been talking about Iran and the actions that US must take towards Iran. In a hearing in the congress, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in response to a question about the US policy towards Iran said: “Well our Iranian policy is under development. It’s not yet been delivered to the president, but I would tell you that we certainly recognize Iran’s continued destabilizing presence in the region, their payment of foreign fighters, their export of militia forces in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, their support for Hezbollah. And we are taking action to respond to Iran’s hegemony. Additional sanctions actions have been put in place against individuals and others.”

By Jubin Katiraie

As the May 19 Iranian presidential elections drew close, reports continually surfaced of rising levels of political activity on the streets of major cities, which was aimed not at encouraging the election of any candidate but at boycotting the election and declaring the clerical regime as illegitimate. The leading Iranian resistance group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, spent several weeks contributing to the public discourse both online and on the ground, with an eye toward demonstrating the lack of serious differences between the supposedly moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani and his hardline challenger Ebrahim Raisi.

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

May 9 marks the seventh anniversary of the execution of Kurdish activist and teacher Farzad Kamangar inside Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Kamangar was accused of being a member of the Kurdish opposition group PJAK and was sentenced to death following a brief trial which lacked due process.

Ethnic Kurds face systematic discrimination and repression in Iran, and continue to struggle for their own rights and autonomy. Kamangar’s activism centered not only on his identity as a Kurd but as an Iranian who resisted the theocratic regime and fought for the rights of his people and community.

By Hamid Yazdan Panah

On October 30th, 2012, Sattar Beheshti was arrested by the Iranian cyber police. His crime alleged crime was posting his political opinions on social media, which included a harsh rebuke of the regime in Iran. Beheshti would never see home again. Prison authorities would contact his family on November 6th and asking them to collect his body. Four years after his death, Beheshti has come to embody the spirit of resistance in Iran, in an ongoing struggle against censorship and governmental repression.

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