Internal intelligence also shows massive financial rewards and privileges to prevent desertion among security forces.
WASHINGTON, DC, September 13, 2023 — On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) held a press conference in Washington, DC, exposing the mobilization of combat units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to suppress popular uprising.
According to specific intelligence from inside the clerical regime and compiled by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the regime has drastically increased the budget of various repressive agencies to prevent the resurgence of the popular uprising. These documents also show that during the uprising, the regime tried to prevent the desertion of security and intelligence forces by offering various financial rewards and privileges.
Ms. Soona Samsami, the U.S. Representative of the NCRI, opened the press conference, followed by a PowerPoint presentation by NCRI-US Deputy Director Mr. Alireza Jafarzadeh, who revealed a set of documents and charts provided by the Iranian Resistance.
This schematic, which is prepared based on documents and internal intelligence of the regime, shows these decisions were taken at the highest levels of the regime in the Supreme National Security Council and by the special orders of Khamenei.
The increase in the budget and facilities pertains to a wide range of repressive organizations, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), State Security Forces (SSF), intelligence-security personnel of the Ministry of Interior, Tehran Municipality, and even the seminaries and mullahs, who have the mandate of providing motivation and morale to the repressive forces.
Documents from the top brass of the IRGC obtained by the Iranian Resistance reveal that the scope and dimensions of the regime’s fear of being overthrown were much more extensive than seemed at the time. For instance, these documents show that the combat units of the IRGC, including its combat divisions and brigades, were dispatched to the streets to stop the uprising.
One document is a “top secret” directive with “urgent” priority by the commander of the IRGC’s Mohammad Rassoul Allah Corps of Greater Tehran, dated Nov 2, 2022. The directive stipulated that in order “to prevent unrest” and “operations such as writing graffiti on the walls and to arrest the activists who write the graffiti,” operational security divisions and combat brigades be on alert to be dispatched to the operation areas from 10 AM… Operating divisions, special operations brigades, and security units should act from 24:00 to 05:30.” According to the directive, all those who would be arrested should be “handed over immediately to the IRGC Intelligence Organization’s Tehran Directorate.” (PICTURE 5)
The role of women in September 2022 uprising revealed a resistance that was the culmination of years of struggle and sacrifice.”Soona Samsami, U.S. Representative, National Council of Resistance of Iran
Another similar directive dated Nov 4, 2022, details every street or place it has to secure in Tehran to prevent “potential counter-security actions.” (PICTURE 6)
The internal documents also clearly show that to control and contain the uprising, the regime significantly increased the budget for the repressive forces and their equipment and facilities during last year’s uprising.
One of these documents exposed by the Telegram channel Ghyamsarnegouni, “Uprising until Overthrow,” there was a discussion in the Supreme National Security Council on November 19, 2022, regarding the need to urgently provide the necessary resources to resolve “Emergency shortages of security and law enforcement units of the IRGC and FARAJA,” the force directly responsible for suppressing the uprising and all its commanders are from IRGC.
Subsequently, on November 24, 2022, IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, wrote a highly confidential letter to regime President Ebrahim Raisi, stating that the IRGC and specifically FARAJA needed immediate budget increases for necessary items of suppression including “cars, motorcycles, radio equipment (information and communication), uniforms, individual equipment, and unavoidable operational costs.” The document stated that at least 10,000 billion Tomans (more than 350 million dollars at the official exchange rate) was needed in the current Iranian year (March 2022 to March 2023).
Another document shows that Seyyed Ismail Khatib, the Minister of Intelligence and Security, in a “top secret” “urgent” letter to Raisi on December 28, 2022, wrote that given the necessity of continuing to deal seriously with the riots above… please instruct the Office of Planning and Budget to provide credits of the amount of 2,000,000 000 million Rials (equivalent to $7 million) and the amount of 9,700,000 million Rials (equivalent to $34 million) for items and equipment used in dealing with riots by the end of this year.
A “highly confidential” May 7, 2023 document of “the honorable commander of the Sarallah Garrison in Tehran for cultural activities” requested 22,236 billion Rials for the Iranian year 1402 (equivalent to $78 million).
The deputy commander of Sarallah, IRGC Brigadier Hossein Nejat, stated in a letter dated February 14, 2023, to Mohammad Mokhber, First Deputy of Raisi, that “Metro was one of the hotbeds of riots and unrest” during the uprising. For this reason, “it is necessary to pay attention to the metro as an underground city and one of the vulnerable points.” However, “the wear and tear and low quality of the monitoring system and closed-circuit cameras of the metro reduced their use in the recent riots in the capital.” Therefore, “to prevent any anti-security incidents,” “updating and renewing the closed-circuit camera system,” and “Tehran” are imperative and essential. IRGC Brigadier Nejat stressed that the cameras in question are “face recognition” cameras, and they need a budget of one billion and 550 million Rials (equivalent to $55 thousand) for each station of the Tehran metro. Considering the Tehran subway has 144 stations, the immediate budget request to facilitate identifying the protesters in the motors was about $8 million.
The Interior Minister, IRGC Brigadier Ahmed Vahidi, the first commander of the IRGC terrorist Quds Force, in a highly confidential letter dated January 8, 2023, addressed to Raisi, stated, “Given the heavy security costs in all the provinces and the protracted period of the recent disturbances in various areas and the need of the provinces for financial resources to manage the various aspects of the incident, it was decided by the Office of Budget and Planning that the amount of nine thousand billion Rials (nearly $32 million) should be made available to the Interior Ministry.”
A highly confidential document of the Office of Budget and Planning to the Secret Secretariat of the Presidency Office specifies that the budget of the seminaries service center to provide for the financial needs of the mullahs affiliated with the regime was set to be 4800 billion Tomans (more than $168 million).
This schematic shows a number of these organizations and the increase of their budgets in a short period, i.e., from the beginning of the uprising to the end of the Iranian year (March 20, 2023).
EXTENSIVE EFFORTS TO DISCREDIT THE OPPOSITION MEK WHILE SUPPRESSING DISSENT
One document includes reports by the political committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs detailing their efforts to discredit the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK). The document delves into strategies to deny the MEK and thwart their activities and actions beyond Iran’s borders.
“The Political Committee on Hypocrites (a derogatory term used by the regime to refer to the MEK) held six meetings between December 22, 2018, and January 20, 2021, with representatives from relevant institutions. They included the Ministry of Intelligence, the Quds Force, the Intelligence Organization of the Revolutionary Guards, the NAJA (State Security Forces), Interpol, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and related departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” The report reads in part.
“Unlike the monarchists, the hypocrites [MEK] have unity and coherent organizations. Also, the hypocrites have announced that they are looking for regime change by forming Resistance Units. The hypocrites [MEK] are not an alternative, but they are the only organization that has a plan to be the alternative. Therefore, hypocrites [MEK] seek to overthrow the system and are the alternative and insidious (tricky).
“The hypocrites [MEK] possess a network of influence and espionage within the country. If the conditions are favorable, they can enter an armed phase and thus should not be overlooked. In general, the hypocrites possess a range of capabilities, including:
- 1. Collect information
- 2. Central leadership
- 3. Economic power
- 4. Social power
Finally, the report identified four significant characteristics of the MEK:
The first is that “this group can carry out armed operations.” Secondly, “the affiliates of the hypocrites have a strong motivation to fight, indicating their willingness to engage in struggles.” Thirdly, “they have a history of fighting and resisting against the system.” Fourthly, “they possess significant information capabilities that allow them to conceal their intelligence systems effectively. Overall, this group is highly dangerous, to the extent that they can be considered a group aiming to overthrow the system.”
The documents exposed during the NCRI-US press conference offered a glimpse into a fraction of the repressive measures taken by various institutions within the regime in Iran. They reveal that the regime’s top priority is to intensify repression across all aspects of society, driven by the fear of a resurgence in popular uprisings.
Such lavish spending on repressive forces to arrest and kill the people sharply contrasts with the reality of the Iranian people. The regime’s officials have conceded that over 75 to 80 percent of the population of the rich country of Iran lives below the poverty line, and the government has spent as high as 50 billion dollars in Syria to keep Assad in power.
One year after the commencement of the 2022 uprising, the Iranian regime finds itself trapped in a deepening crisis. The conflict between the people and the regime has significantly escalated, the social situation has grown increasingly volatile, and the organized resistance has strengthened.
The uprising on September 16, 2022, was triggered by the murder of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the ‘morality police.’ It rapidly spread to over 280 cities across all 31 provinces, with protesters chanting slogans such as ‘Death to Khamenei,’ ‘I will avenge my brother’s killer,’ and ‘Death to the oppressor, whether it be the Shah or the leader (Khamenei).’ The demonstrators were calling for the overthrow of the regime and the establishment of a democratic republic. People from the middle and lower urban classes took to the streets from large cities to small towns throughout Iran.
Contrary to the regime’s long-standing propaganda, various ethnicities and nationalities, including Kurds, Baloch, and Azeris, whom the regime had sought to divide for years, demonstrated societal unity against the regime with slogans like “From Kurdistan to Tehran, I sacrifice my life for Iran.”
As the documents reveal, all repressive organizations, particularly the IRGC, were deployed full force to suppress the uprising. The regime’s actions resulted in the deaths of at least 750 demonstrators, including many children and women. Additionally, over 30,000 people were arrested, and several demonstrators were executed. Despite these efforts, the uprising persisted for several months, thanks to the MEK Resistance Units’ role in maintaining their continued effort to ensure continuity.
The Organized Resistance, particularly the MEK Resistance Units, played a pivotal role in organizing, sustaining, and safeguarding the uprising. This was acknowledged in public statements by regime officials and in recently revealed internal documents, where the MEK was cited as having “the greatest role in implementing and organizing the 2022 uprising.” On April 1, 2023, the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran reported that from the beginning of the uprising until March 20, 2023, a total of 3,626 individuals associated with the Resistance Units had disappeared through arrests, killings, or involuntary disappearances.
Throughout the uprising, numerous efforts were made to establish fake alternatives, many covertly backed by the ruling regime. These groups, lacking any genuine popular support or organizational strength, were primarily the result of extensive propaganda efforts and foreign assistance. Consequently, most disintegrated within a few weeks. These entities diluted the momentum of the uprising and advocated against confronting the regime, often citing cost considerations. Another aspect of their role was undermining the significance of the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the alternative the regime genuinely fears.
The regime’s actions send a clear message: it is deeply apprehensive about the resurgence of the uprising. The wheels of regime change are now in motion and cannot be halted. As of August 1, 2023, Hossein Salami, the commander of the IRGC, made it explicit: ‘The smallest gap can threaten the entire sovereignty.’ The undeniable reality is that religious rule in Iran is in an inescapable final phase.
Desperate for survival, Tehran has been resorting to what it knows best, hostage-taking and terrorism, as a tool of statecraft to gain concessions. While Iran’s people are the biggest enemy of the desperate regime, the West’s appeasement policy has become the biggest ally of the regime. Through blackmail and terrorism, Tehran has gained significant concessions. This must stop.
While Western nations have been most accommodating to the regime, their elected representatives at various parliaments have chosen to side with the people of Iran. In 2023, over 3,600 cross-party lawmakers in 61 parliaments in 40 countries, including 29 majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives, parliaments in the U.K., France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Slovenia, Moldova, Malta, North Macedonia, San Marino, Jordan, and Yemen endorsed Ten-Point Plan by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), for a democratic, secular, non-nuclear republic in Iran.
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The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is a democratic coalition of Iranian opposition organizations and personalities and was founded in Tehran, Iran, in July 1981, as the alternative to the clerical regime, a month after the onset of the nationwide resistance to overthrow the ruling dictatorship.
The NCRI is committed to the affirmation of the people’s sovereignty in a republic founded on universal suffrage and pluralism; gender equality; separation of religion and state and freedom of religions and faiths; freedom of thought, press, and association; support for peace in the Middle East; plan for the autonomy of Iranian nationalities and ethnicities; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as embodied in Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-Point Plan for Future Iran.
The NCRI would serve as a provisional government led by its President-elect Mrs. Rajavi, and its primary responsibility will be to hold free and fair elections for a national and constituent assembly within six months to ensure the peaceful transition of power to the elected representatives of the Iranian people.
Iran’s largest, most organized opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also referred to as the MEK, is the principal member of the NCRI.
These materials are being distributed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran-U.S. Representative Office. Additional information is on file with the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C