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The waning power of Iran and Hezbollah

Originally posted by AlRiyadh Daily
The recent resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri dealt a serious blow to the Lebanese Hezbollah and its Iranian masters.
Hariri, who declared the decision in Riyadh last Saturday, cited Iranian influence across the region and threats to his life if he remained at the helm of the government. His resignation came on the heels of a thwarted assassination attempt against him in Beirut. Hariri’s father, Rafiq, was assassinated by the Hezbollah in 2005.
This will put an end to a year-long campaign that had seen the Iranian regime further its evil ends through Hezbollah and its political clout.
Quite unsurprisingly, the Iranian regime reacted by calling Hariri’s resignation a Saudi-backed plot and accused Riyadh of having taken the Lebanese Premier as hostage, which is ironic coming from a state that has taken the entire Lebanese politics hostage for the past year.
11 months ago, after two years of impasse, a government was assembled in Lebanon which granted premiership to Hariri but effectively gave political and military sway to Hezbollah.
This had given Iran a seemingly legitimate political façade to increase its violent meddling in the country and to boost its intervention in neighboring Syria, where it has been propping up the Assad regime against democratic opposition forces.
Without Hariri, the entire Iran-backed government loses its legitimacy and its real nature becomes clear to everyone.
But what makes this especially significant is that it takes place against the backdrop of other setbacks Tehran is facing on the international front, it will put a serious strain on the regime’s plots in the region.
The U.S. Congress recently ratified three measures against Hezbollah by voice vote and without opposition. The US Congress passed resolutions slap sanctions against the group for its use of defenseless civilians as human shields and target Hezbollah’s international financial sources.
A third resolution calls on the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist entity. The U.S. placed the Hezbollah in its list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1997.
Hezbollah, which was founded and nurtured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), has been Tehran’s main implement in its regional forays in the past four decades. It is responsible for carrying out many terrorist attacks against Iran’s opponents and has also played an active role in on fighting on Iran’s behalf Syria.
Another very important factor is the change of the wider international stance toward Iran. Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump declared Washington’s new Iran policy, which is in stark contrast to that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon’s militant Shiite movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address during a gathering in Beirut’s southern suburb
Tehran had widely taken advantage of the Obama administration’s penchant for rapprochement to obtain economic and political incentives.
This included billions of dollars’ worth of sanctions relief under the contested deal that was aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and block its path to obtaining nuclear weapons. It also enabled Tehran to get a free pass on its meddling in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.
The new administration’s policy will adopt a multi-pronged approach that will counter the multitude of threats the Iran poses to regional and global peace and security.
This included imposing new sanctions against the IRGC and designating it as a terrorist organization.
The IRGC is responsible for Iran’s nuclear program, its ballistic missile development, coordinating its regional agendas and the crackdown on domestic dissenters and opposition members. The IRGC is the arm that funds and arms Iran’s proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen. Stricter sanctions will make it considerably more difficult for the entity to carry out those functions.
With the IRGC constrained and its tendrils such as Hezbollah losing their political and financial power, Iran will be hard-pressed to exert its evil influence in neighboring countries.
The direct impact of this waning regional power is being reflected inside Iran, where the regime is also losing its grip on power.
The Iranian people are becoming bolder in voicing their protests against the ruling regime and voicing their support for Maryam Rajavi who leads the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The tides are turning, and the Iranian regime is on the losing end.

The plight of human rights violations in Iran

The European Parliament recently witnessed 270 of its members issue a strongly worded statement lashing out and condemning the regime in Iran for its continuous and horrendous trend of human rights violations in contrast to preposterous claims of reforms and adopting a new approach. The statement encourages and rightfully demands the European Union and all Western governments “to condition any further relations with Iran to a clear progress on human rights and a halt to executions.” Continue reading The plight of human rights violations in Iran

Dissident Iranian cleric denied medical treatment in prison

Supporters of Iranian dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi have called for international pressure to force the mullahs’ regime to end his imprisonment and maltreatment.

Ayatollah Boroujerdi, 57, has spent nearly 10 years in the Iranian regime’s jails due to his opposition to clerical rule. He was arrested in Tehran on October 8, 2006. He is currently held in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Continue reading Dissident Iranian cleric denied medical treatment in prison

UNHCR issues update on situation of Camp Liberty residents

The United Nations Refugee Agency on Monday published an updated statement on the situation of several thousand members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), or Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), in Camp Liberty in Iraq.
Continue reading UNHCR issues update on situation of Camp Liberty residents

Iran point man wounded in Syria marks change of tide

by:Shahriar Kia
For nearly 5 years the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force’s notorious chief Qassem Suleimani has been spearheading Iran’s full-pledged support for the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. This shadowy figure has been the symbol of Tehran’s infamous plots in Syria, and reports have also indicated Suleimani was running the show and issuing orders to senior Syrian generals and political officials, and at times, even Assad himself. Enjoying the full support of and reporting only to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, Suleimani had unimaginable authority in Syria. That is why a recent report of the Quds Force chief being severely injured in clashes south of Aleppo has sounded major alarm bells in Tehran, and the entire region.
Continue reading Iran point man wounded in Syria marks change of tide

5 days after attack, Iraq Gov bars entry of food & fuel to Camp Liberty

In tandem with the missile attack, it is 5 days now that Government of Iraq prevents entry of food, fuel to camp and bars discharge of sewage

The Security Council should act immediately to punish perpetrators of missile attack, provide security of Camp Liberty, and lift its blockade
Continue reading 5 days after attack, Iraq Gov bars entry of food & fuel to Camp Liberty

Video: Daughter of Iran political prisoner speaks out

Watch the video of the testimony by Paria Kohandel, a young Iranian political activist who is the daughter of prominent political prisoner Saleh Kohandel and who escaped the sufferings and torments in Iran months ago.

Text of speech by Paria Kohandel at a conference on human rights in Iran on the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty
Paris – October 10, 2015

Greetings to my dear sister Maryam [Rajavi] and all you dear friends,
Greetings to the combatants in Camp Liberty and all my compatriots that hear my voice,

My name is Paria Kohandel and I left Iran only a few months ago.
My father is political prisoner Saleh Kohandel who is imprisoned in the dreaded Gohardasht Prison.
On April 19, 2011, my dear uncle Akbar and my beloved aunt Mahdieh were martyred in an attack [on Camp Ashraf] by Nuri Maliki’s paid hands.

Continue reading Video: Daughter of Iran political prisoner speaks out