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Protesters Are Being Tortured to Death in Iran

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  • Protesters Are Being Tortured to Death in Iran

    19 Jan – The names of six young Iranians, who were killed under torture by the Regime authorities during the recent protests, have been released.

    The body of Seyed Shahab Abtahi, 20, was left on his father’s doorstep with signs of baton blows clearly visible, just 10 days after his arrest in the city of Arak.

    Shortly before that, street vendor Vahid Heidari, 22, who the Markazi police falsely claimed had been arrested on drugs possession charges, was also killed by baton blows while detained.

    The authorities claimed his death was a suicide at Arak’s 12th police precinct, despite the fact that detainees in Arak were transferred to Arak’s central prison and then onto the Basij garrison in the Moghavemat square or the Arak Intelligence Building, which is adjacent to the Basij garrison, because of the sheer numbers of protesters that were detained.

    There were 396 people arrested during the uprising in Arak and other cities of Markazi Province, according to senior regime officials.

    Another protester, Hossein Qaderi, 30, who was arrested in the Sanandaj uprising died under torture in prison on January 17. The Regime has claimed that he was a drug offender rather than a protester- as if that justifies torture and death- but not even the prison clinic will confirm their lies.

    Sarou Ghahremani, 24, was arrested on January 3, and also died following torture in Sanandaj Prison.

    Hassan Torkashvand, 23, was protesting in Karaj when he was directly shot by repressive forces on December 30. He died of his injuries in hospital.

    Worse still, the Regime is attempting to cover this up by refusing to allow families to hold funerals, withholding bodies, and threatening loved ones.

    Over 40 Iranian MPs have written to the parliamentary speaker asking for an independent inquiry into the suspicious deaths but asking the Regime to investigate themselves is like asking a killer to look for bloodstains.

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), wrote on Al Arabiya about the secret torture and killings of Iranian political prisoners during the protests.

    He wrote: “Killing under torture in prison is unquestionably a crime against humanity. The Iranian Resistance calls on the UN Security Council, its member states, and all international human rights advocates to take decisive measures against these crimes. It also calls on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to immediately dispatch a fact-finding mission to investigate the situation of prisons and unconditional release of recent detainees.”

  • Trump’s targeting of Iran comes as Islamic leaders torture and kill 8,000 protesters

     – The Washington Times – Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Iran’s rulers have inflicted death by torture and gunfire on citizen protesters in a crackdown since the Dec. 28 street uprising erupted, the main opposition group said Tuesday.

    The Europe-based National Council of Resistance of Iran says the Islamic republic’s ubiquitous security apparatus has arrested more than 8,000 citizens and killed at least 50, all while the West has remained mostly silent. The council attributes at least five deaths to torture.

    President Trump has spoken out in support of the protesters. The Treasury Department on Friday slapped further sanctions on the regime’s judiciary chief, Sadeq Amoli Larijani. Mr. Larijani has been singled out by the West for years for endorsing cruel punishments that include torture and amputation.

    “As the head of the judiciary for the past nine years, Larijani is a key official in the regime’s suppressive apparatus, who has played a direct role in the execution of thousands of people, in the crackdown and arrest of dissidents, as well as in censorship and repression,” said Shahin Gobadi, a council spokesman based in Paris.

    The opposition group said protests have spread to 130 cities. The protesters complain of dismal economic conditions, of military adventures in Iraq and Syria, and of being ruled by clerical Shiite Muslim hard-liners led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

  • Iran Protests Are Unique

    12 Jan – The current Iranian protests are notable for two main reasons: geographic scope and range of grievances. Unlike previous protests, these are mainly populated by the working class, taking place in almost every city and town in Iran, without a singular cause.

    In fact, here are just a few of their complaints:

    • persistent unemployment

    • ongoing inflation

    • the ruined housing market

    • long overdue wages and pensions

    • unsafe labour regulations

    • reduction of cash subsidies

    • corruption

    • environmental degradation

    • homelessness

    • Ponzi schemes run by regime elites

    • pollution

    • human rights abuses

    The only thing that all protesters agree on- no matter their complaint- is that the Iranian Regime is the cause of the problem and must be evicted from the region.

    Kaveh Ehsani, an Assistant Professor of International Studies at DePaul University, and Arang Keshavarzian, an Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, wrote on Jacobin: “At their core, these protests are a moral outcry of the marginalized periphery against what it perceives to be a callous center and its betrayal of the social justice vision that animated and united the revolutionary forces of 1979.”

    Protests against the Regime are not a new thing, there have been many thousands over the past four decades, but they don’t usually get international attention and, as a result, most protesters are dealt with brutally by the Regime in an attempt to crush the people’s spirit. Still, the Iranian people are rising up to demand their freedom; their grievances have now exploded.

    Ehsani and Keshavarzian wrote: “While it’s too soon to know who the Iranians were that dared to participate in the protests, ample evidence suggests that they were neither the abject poor nor the beneficiaries of this uneven political economy. Rather, ordinary people’s aspirations have been shaped by a paradoxical mixture of anger against social and economic injustice and consumerist desires cultivated by the developmentalist state’s promises of material security and affluence.”

    They were ignored by the Regime- and the world at large- so they came together and consolidated their issues into one: the ruling mullahs.

    If the Regime stood any chance of remaining in power, they would quickly address the issues raised, but the Regime would rather fruitlessly attempt to suppress the Iranian people. Decades of ignoring these crises and a lack of control over large portions of the budget doled out to organizations controlled by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have left the Regime ill-equipped to manage them and things will only get worse before the Regime falls.

    Ehsani and Keshavarzian wrote: “The government may try to alleviate tensions by rewriting the budget and reinstating the subsidies and cash payments that it had planned to slash. A new round of highly publicized anti-corruption cases may also be a means for the regime to argue that it is taking action and responding to social demands. But the social realities of those living on the jagged edges of Iranian society will persist. What makes the demonstrations against malfeasance and the calls for political change and social justice powerful is the fact that the protesters are accusing Iran’s rulers of violating the revolution’s commitment to a moral economy.”

  • A Look at the Real Stories Behind Iran’s Protests

    5 Jan – As deep-seated unrest among the citizens risks Iran becoming the next Syria, let’s take a look at how those on the ground have been affected by the disastrous decisions of the Iranian government.

    These protests initially began because of a sharp increase in the cost of living, but soon turned into a wide-ranging demonstration against everything that this wrong with the Regime.

    Mohsen, 20, a protester in Karaj, expressed despair at the state of the economy- which has been horrendously mismanaged- and the high unemployment rates.

    He said: “I’m in university now, but I know it’s a waste of time. I won’t have a job after this. I wouldn’t have a job if I didn’t go to university. I’m just waiting out four years. But there’s no future for me. . . for any of us.”

    His older brother Ali, 25, is an unemployed mechanical engineer and Mohsen fears that if Ali can’t get a job, then he won’t be able to either.

    He said: “Ali is much smarter than me, and if he can’t get a job, then I definitely can’t. That’s why I’m protesting. What future do I have to live for?”

    This is an incredibly troubling situation, especially when you consider that their family is living month-to-month because everything is so expensive. Mohsen is thankful that at least they don’t have rent to pay, as his father, Hossein, a veteran, bought the three-bedroom apartment that they live in back in the 1990s.

    Hossein took part in the 2009 Green Movement protests with Ali. He noted that Mohsen had never shown any political inclinations before now.

    Mohsen’s mother, Fatemeh, is worried about her son’s safety at the protests- at least 21 have been killed and 450 arrested so far.

    She said: “Mohsen and my nephew, Meysam, go to the protests every evening. As a mother I’m worried about them and don’t want them going. But I know they are frustrated. Things have to change. But I don’t want my son and nephew to pay a price for it when the government cracks down.”

    Another person concerned about the economy is a thirty-five-year-old dentist, Ahmad, who is not quite ready join the protests.

    He said: “I work at a dental clinic where a lot of our patients are working-class folks. Today I talked with all of my patients about the protests. Some of the families really rely on the cash transfers (yaraneh) the state has given them, and they’re worried Rouhani will take the cash transfers away. The cash transfers aren’t much anymore with the inflation. But still, how will they make ends meet? I feel the weight of the high food prices, and I’m a dentist who drives around in an expensive SUV and owns an apartment. I cannot fathom how my patients live with the prices of everything being so expensive.”

    Indeed, inflation in Iran is now at 17%. This situation has only been made worse by corrupt politicians and businessmen who have embezzled millions of dollars, including the scandal of convincing Iranian’s to deposit their life savings into worthless investments.

    The economy is not the only issue though; many protesters are demanding the release of political prisoners, the overthrow of the supreme leader, or even the downfall of the entire regime.

    In an attempt to quell the protests, the Iranian Regime slowed down or even blocked the internet in order to disrupt communication amongst the protesters and to the outside world. State media, which is mainly controlled by the Khamenei faction, have featured the protests but in a heavily sanitised form to paint President Hassan Rouhani as the only problem rather than acknowledging the hatred for the Regime as a whole.

    They have also doctored photos from previous protests- including the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Egypt- and blaming foreign governments for instigating the protests to mislead people about the nature of the protests.

    Accusing foreign governments of interfering in their domestic affairs is pretty rich from the Iranian Regime but again, it misses the point. The Iranian people are protesting for themselves- not on behalf of anyone else.

    Mohsen said: “We’re tired of waiting for the situation to get better. It’s not getting better… It’s never the right time. I’m tired of waiting for the right time.”

  • Revolutionary Guards Shot and Killed a Protester

    1 Jan – Fear and confusion within the regime more than ever before as the uprising of the Iranian people is escalating

    On the fourth day of the nationwide uprising, Khamenei the supreme leader remains silent. Rouhani, the regime’s president, also canceled his speech yesterday. Iran daily, associated with Rouhani, announced, “in light of recent events and several days of conflict in different cities of the country, the president will speak on these incidents in a couple of hours”. However, two hours later, one of Rouhani’s spokesmen said, “There is no speech in Rouhani’s program today.”

    Meanwhile, the mullahs’ regime shut down schools in Tehran and many cities under the pretext of “air pollution” for today and tomorrow.

    However, on the fourth day of the nationwide uprising of the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs’ regime, the regime’s officials were compelled to acknowledge the anger and disgust of the people against the regime and the extent of the uprising.

    The mullahs’ interior minister said today, “The events of the last few days have caused concern, sadness and discomfort for our dear people, and … the created atmosphere …. Has damaged the security of the country.” Everyone knows that the meaning of “dear people” and “the country” is nothing but the criminal gangs and corrupt mullahs of this regime who have destroyed Iran’s assets and have killed the people for 39 years.

    The mullahs’ interior minister, whose fear of the uprising could be seen in his every single words, said: “Those who attempt to destroy public property, and create unrest and lawlessness, and undermine the people’s security, are responsible before the law and should be held accountable for their behavior and pay its cost.” He added, “Those who misused the cyberspace and used it for the purpose of destroying security, irregularity, law-breaking and destruction of the people’s property, have shown that it was just an excuse to use this capacity.”

    Meanwhile, Mehr, the state news agency, wrote today that the PMOI /MEK”is behind the recent turmoil and manages it.”

    Ali Asghar Nasser, the security and law enforcement deputy of Tehran governorate, said “A few individuals yesterday disrupted the people’s comfort, and they were arrested quickly.” He added these few people! Threw “stones at the police force, damaged police vehicles, and broke windows of the banks and …”.

    Despite regime, official try to damp the nationwide uprising, the scope of the unrest against the mullahs’ regime continues to spread and includes vaster parts of Iran.

    In Tuyserkan, the people booed the anti-riot unit that was making a lot of noise to intimidate the people. The regime’s mercenaries fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. The people set ablaze a government vehicle in front of the governorate. Following a brutal attack of the Revolutionary Guards on the crowd, one of the demonstrators was martyred, and some other wounded. The angry people chanted “Down with Khamenei” and set fire to a government vehicle and many parts of the governorate.

    In Doroud, the brave people were demonstrating while chanting “death to the dictator”, and “Vigilant people, Support, Support”, and “Fellow citizens, we are waiting for you.

    In Tehran, in the Enqelab (Revolution) Square, the police attacked the people who were chanting “Death to Dictator”; however, it turned to a clash. At the University of Tehran, while the security forces are stationed in front of the university, the students are chanting “No embezzlement, No JCPOA, just Resistance”.

    At Azadi Square in Kermanshah, the police attacked the crowd and it turned to clashes. The criminal IRGC forces severely beat and injured the youth. A government vehicle was burnt by protesters.

    In Ardabil, the anti-riot guards attacked the protesters at the Khomeini intersection.

    In Ardebil, fighting with anti-riot forces continues.

    In Sanandaj, the people chanted “Political prisoners must be freed”, and clashed with anti-riot guards.

    In Khorramdarreh, the regime’s mercenaries attacked the protesters which turned into clashes. The anti-riot guards threw tear gas at people.

    In Behshahr, the repressive forces severely battered the demonstrators.

    In Ahwaz, courageous young people seized the vehicle of a special unit.

    In Chabahar, people chant, “So many troops have come against (Supreme) Leader”.

    In Hamadan, Aligudarz and Urmia, people continue their protests by chanting anti-regime slogans.

  • A Report on the Catastrophic Kidney Selling in Western Iran

    26 Dec – A state-owned media revealed that Kermanshah province (western Iran) has the highest rate of kidney sales due to poverty and unemployment in this region.

    The Jamaran government website under the title of “Kermanshah has the highest rate of kidney sales!” wrote: “In the past days, the name of Kermanshah was tied up in the news with the earthquake, but it seems that the cities of this province suffer from many other problems, which is not related to sudden incidents. Last year Kermanshah had the first unemployment rate in the country.”

    Referring to other social damages in Kermanshah province, which rank higher than other provinces in Iran, the media writes: “The head of the Kermanshah Kidney Care Support Association said the province is ranked first for the sale of kidneys and added: “Our cities still have a state of warfare. There is no big factory here and no business has a particular boom. All of this causes unemployment and poverty to be high, so some people in Kermanshah are willing to sell a piece of their body to get some money and get things done or to solve some problems in their lives.” Sale of kidneys is considered a social harm.

    The state-run Jamaran website quoting the head of the Kermanshah Kidney Care Support Association wrote that a kidney is sold at 18 million Toman and added: “The people who need the kidneys are often poor and cannot afford to buy. For this reason, there is a long line to receive all donations in the dialysis halls of the province, both those who want to sell their kidney and the recipients. For this reason, many donors go to other cities and Kermanshah can be considered as the kidney exporter to other cities.”

    Hossein Biglari reported that women are entering the kidney market, saying, “In the past, there were only men who were ready to sell their kidneys, but now the situation is such that young women aged 20 to 35 come to the community to give up their kidney. We face cases of women who desperately need 5 million Toman and their hands are short on everywhere and they want to sell their kidneys.”

    This is the disastrous situation among the deprived people of Kermanshah province, while the Iranian regime has contributed annually between $15 billion and $ 20 billion to Assad’s government. And over the past thirty years, the regime has contributed $1 billion annually to Lebanese Hezbollah mercenaries.

    As a result, while the poor people of Iran sell their organs to live, the ruling regime has spent the equivalent of a 150 years budget of an Iranian province like Kermanshah to preserve and prop up the Syrian dictator and killing people in that country.

  • UN Adopts Resolution Against Human Rights Abuses in Iran

    19 Dec -The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted its 64th Resolution against human rights violations in Iran.

    The resolution, sponsored by Canada, was adopted on December 19 with 81 votes for, 30 against, and 70 abstentions.

    This new resolution welcomes the minor improvements that Iran has made- although considering the timing of the small amendments to their death penalty, it is likely that the Regime only did this to gain approval from the UN.

    It also expresses concern about the extent that the death penalty is used- particularly for juveniles, the rate of forced confessions, and the number of falsely imprisoned dual nationals and foreigners.

    The resolution urges Iran “to uphold, in law and in practice procedural guarantees to ensure fair trial standards, including timely access to legal representation of one’s choice from the time of arrest through all stages of trial and all appeals, the right not to be subjected to torture, cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and consideration of bail and other reasonable terms for release from custody pending trial.”

    Reportedly, the only country that protested the adoption of the resolution was Syria, which is unsurprising when you consider that the Iranian Regime is helping to prop up the Assad dictatorship in Syria.

    The resolution also included some paragraphs about human rights issues in Syria, North Korea, and the Crimean Peninsula, which were ratified along with the main body of the resolution.
    While a member of the Iranian delegation to the UN, Mohammad Hassan Nejad Pirkoohi, protested the resolution’s condemnation of Syria and North Korea, according to Regime-affiliated the Fars news agency.

    Reaction

    Hassan Nayeb Hashem, an Iranian human rights activist, tweeted: “The resolution concerning the situation of human rights in Iran was adopted with a very high margin at the United Nations General Assembly.”

    Canada’s Foreign Ministry also welcomed the news via Twitter, and promised to continue their support for human rights in Iran.

    The news of this resolution has been mentioned on Iranian news agencies but they have provided very little information about it.

    Members of the Iranian Regime have yet to respond, with the exception of Pirkoohi who described its adoption as regretful.

    From sponsorship to adoption

    The draft of this resolution criticising Iran’s human rights record was approved on November 24 by the Third Committee of UNGA by a vote of 83 to 30.

    The countries who abstained overwhelming criticised Iran for its human rights abuses but wanted to encourage Iran to cooperate with the UN in making improvements.

    During this session, the Iranian delegation did not respond to any of the issues highlighted but did attack Canada for sponsoring the resolution, calling it “a politicized document” and signalling that Iran may not cooperate with the UN on human rights.

    In 2016, the UNGA passed a similar resolution, with an almost identical voting record.

    Resolutions adopted by UNGA are non-binding.

  • Accused Looters of Corrupt Iranian Financial Institution out on Bail

    15 Dec – All of the people accused of “looting” a credit and financial institution in Iran have been freed on bail, according to an official at Tehran’s Penal Court.

    The looted institution, Samen al-Hojaj, went bankrupt and was taken over by the private Parsian Bank.

    There are almost 50 complainants in Tehran who have registered that they have not been able to get their money back from Samen al-Hojaj, which was launched in 2001.

    Parsian Bank had announced a timetable to repay Samen al-Hojaj depositors but this has only just been rolled out.

    There are many financial and credit institutions that have recently gone bankrupt and forced depositors to hold protests to demand their money back, stating that they are victims of fraud.

    Improper banking practices

    Over the past 10 years, many credit associations have been set up in Iran promising high-interest rates and therefore attracting a lot of deposits. Some of these institutions operate without the correct licenses and a shocking lack of regulatory oversight.

    Many will file for bankruptcy after reckless investments or approve too many high-value loans that are not repaid, raising suspicion over their practices and who really owns them.

    The Iranian people, who invested their money in the financial institutions often lose a large amount of their savings- sometimes everything.

    Ahmad Tavakkoli, a former member of the Iranian Regime’s Parliament, said that most of the former customers of Samen al-Hojaj bank- who had taken out large loans that they never intended to pay back- were veteran judges and the children of prominent figures in the Iranian Regime.

    On November 28, he even threatened to publicly disclose the names of those people unless they paid their debts, citing corruption.

    He said: “The managing director of Samen al-Hojaj has a lot of influence. He’s so powerful that he even managed to get an arrest warrant for the Central Bank of Iran’s former governor, Mahmoud Bahmani (2008-2013). Corrupt individuals attract and multiply people of their calibre.”

    Some close to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have even accused Hassan Rouhani’s presidential campaign of borrowing money from Samen al-Hojaj.

    Ongoing trial

    The Tasnim News Agency, which is run by the Islamic Revolution Guardian Corps (IRGC), reported that a trial date had not yet been set and they are still investigating but if Tavakkoli’s comments are true, then there will likely be a lot of secrecy surrounding the trial and it will likely go on for a long time.

  • Appealing for Justice for the Victims of 1988 Massacre In Iran continues


    IRAN, Nov. 22, 2017 – Iranian political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared’s appeal for justice for her family massacred in the 1980s by Iranian regime finally succeeded as the United Nations ’ Working Group on Forced Disappearances accepted (to address) her complaint. This is a major development in the pursuit of the perpetrators of the massacre of political prisoners in the 1980s in Iran in order to bring them to justice.
    Atena Daemi, a civil and women’s rights activist incarcerated in Evin prison, in response to the success of Maryam Akbari Monfared has written a letter of congratulations and described it as a worthwhile success and has expressed hope that her steps would be followed by other victims of human rights abuses in Iran.
    Roghiyeh, Abdolreza, Alireza and Gholamreza Akbari Monfared are four members of a family who were killed by the Islamic Republic of Iran by various methods during the dark years of the 1980s.
    Abdolreza Akbari Monfared was arrested in 1981 at the age of 17 and sentenced to three years in prison but was held in prison more than the sentence. He was actually jailed without a sentence and then executed in 1988. Alireza was arrested on 8 September 1981 and in less than 20 days was killed in detention in an unknown manner.
    During the memorial ceremony of the seventh night of Alireza’s death, his mother, Gorgi Shiripour, and his sister, Roghiyeh, were arrested. The mother was sentenced to 5 years in prison and the sister was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment but was executed in 1988 during the massacre of political prisoners one year before her prison sentence ends.
    Gholamreza Akbari Monfared was arrested in 1983 and lost his life under torture in detention in 1985.
    As we see, none of these were sentenced to death, but executed or killed by various methods.
    Now, after nearly forty years of those years, Maryam and Reza Akbari Monfared, the survivors of this family, are in jail. Maryam, with 15 years of imprisonment, is on her eighth year of imprisonment without a single day furlough, and Reza Akbari Monfared, is spending his last year of 5.5 years prison sentence.
    Last year, Maryam Akbari Monfared filed a complaint from the inside of the prison against Iranian regime officials for their involvement and complicity in the murder and execution of her family members in prison and handed it over to domestic and international judicial authorities.
    Not only the domestic authorities did not investigate the executions, as they themselves were the perpetrators of the killings in the 1980s, but also the interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence, who do not have the right to intervene in the affairs of this judicial case now and at this stage, have announced that they would not allow her to be released because of her legal complaints. In addition, they summoned her husband and threatened that they would further imprisonment of Maryam and deport her to Borazjan prison in exile.
    But international officials, in response to the complaint by Maryam Akbari, reviewed the case in less than a year and, according to the existing documents, registered Roghiyeh and Abdolreza Akbari Monfared in the UN’s list of forced disappeared individuals group.
    Except for Maryam and her family, many other families were also subjected to Iranian regime judiciary officials’ wrath due to seeking justice for their loved ones who were ruthlessly and brutally murdered in prisons by the regime. For example, Mansoureh Behkish is another woman, who has been repeatedly summoned and arrested by the regime for seeking justice for the killings of her six siblings, and has recently been sentenced to heavy prison sentences.
    Fatima Mothana is another brave woman who is currently in jail with her husband, Hassan Sadeghi and is being prosecuted for seeking justice for her three brothers and the wife of one of her brothers who was all killed by the regime while in detention.
    But the executions and killings by the rulers of this 40-years-old regime are not limited to these few families and do not end here. These are only a small part of the history

  • Iran Earthquake Sees More Than 540 Dead: What Is Regime Doing?


    London, 14 Nov – Thousands of Iranians have been forced to spend a second night exposed to the elements following the earthquake that killed over 540.

    On Sunday, the 7.3-magnitude quake struck at the Iran-Iraq border, in a mountainous region spanning Iran’s Kermanshah province and Iraqi Kurdistan, causing many occupants to flee their homes.

    However, humanitarian aid has since struggled to get to the quake zone, leaving many without the most basic of necessities including water, food, medicine, and shelter.

    Officials said that they were setting up relief camps and had already distributed 22,000 tents, 52,000 blankets and tons of food and water, and Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said 30 Red Crescent teams had arrived in the region.

    The roads to Kermanshah province were reopened by late Monday, according to Iranian officials, but according to state-run television the worst-affected town, Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, was still without electricity. 280 people- over half of the dead were in that town.

    Several villages across this impoverished region of Iran have been totally destroyed according to the Tasnim news agency but the ISNA agency instead chose to report of the minor damage to historical monuments in Kermanshah.

    Many foreign media outlets are also being prevented from visiting the area, although it is not clear why as state-run Iranian media has been there.

    It is possible that the Iranian Regime is actively blocking the necessary care, according to the Iranian Resistance group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).

    Citing past earthquakes, they said: “The international community and the Gulf States provided Iran with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and dispatched dozens of relief teams. Reports, however, indicated Iran’s state forces plundering much of the aid, and dispatching thousands of boots to the area to prevent any possible protest.”

    On Sunday, Nizar Abdullah, a 34-year-old Iraqi Kurd, was sifting through the ruins of her next-door neighbours two-story home looking for survivors until rescue workers arrived. Some family members were able to escape, but of the eight people inside, the mother and one child were pulled dead from the rubble.

    The earthquake has particularly affected the poor, as many older buildings were completely destroyed while newer ones remained intact.

    Tuesday, November 14, was declared a national day of mourning in Iran, with 413 dead and 6,700 injured. The aftershocks of the quake were felt as far as southeastern Turkey.

    The area of western Iran and northeastern Iraq sees frequent seismic activity as it lies along a 1,500-kilometer fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. In 1990, 2003, 2005, and 2012, the area experienced major quake disasters killing some 72,000 people in total.