Truck drivers in dozens of Iranian provinces have reportedly gone on strike in the country over low wages and analysts are speculating this could usher in a wave of new protests throughout certain parts of the Islamic Republic.
The strikes arrive weeks after President Donald Trump announced the United States’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal.The Associated Press reported that “The semi-official ILNA news agency reported on Wednesday that the strike is taking place in Qazvin, Lorestan, East Azerbaijan and Mazandaran province.”
The truck drivers began striking on Tuesday and complained that their expenses have increased since last year. According to the Voice of America’s Iran news service, the increase in expenses include the costs for tires, air filters, insurance, road tolls, commissions, repairs and spare parts.
The strikes reportedly took place in 93 cities in 25 provinces, including the provinces of West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Isfahan, Ilam, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari, Khuzestan, Zanjan, Sistan and Balouchestan, Semnan, Fars, Qazvin, Kerman, Gilan, Mazandaran, Markazi, Hormozgan, Hamedan, Yazd and Bushehr.
The strikes have reportedly caused fuel shortage in some parts of Iran because the trucks are instrumental in delivering gas to fueling stations.
According to the VOA, “It was not clear how long the strike would continue. There was no immediate response to the truckers’ demands from Iranian authorities on state media.”
Nationwide protest took place on December 28 over rising costs, financial mismanagement, and the Iranian regime’s decision to use billions of dollars to finance terrorism and involvement in foreign countries like Syria and Libya, instead of taking care of its ailing people at home.
The December protests, which have carried on in varying stages, were the largest since the so-called “Green Revolution” of 2009 over the fraudulent re-election of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who won in a “landslide.”
BEVERLY HILLS — In an interview with Breitbart News on Monday, Iran’s exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi called for greater American and international support for Iran’s freedom-craving people.
The crown prince is the son of Iran’s last king, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He is the president of the National Council for Free Elections in Iran.
“We realize that the current regime is not going to voluntarily leave the scene, which is why we have put together a campaign of resistance and civil disobedience,” Pahlavi told Breitbart News. “And that’s why we’ve been in contact with a variety of secularists within Iran representing all sorts of views from workers to teachers to labor unions” to other organizations.
Adelle Nazarian of Breitbart News interviews Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi. (Photo: Adelle Nazarian for Breitbart News)
Over half of Iran’s population is under the age of 40. The crown prince noted that the advent of social media and technology is a priceless tool in the quest for freedom. “And fortunately in this world of social media and Internet communication most of the give and take happens by means that were not available 20 years ago,” he said.
Pahlavi recently penned a letter to President Donald Trump congratulating him on his victory. Asked how he views Trump and his administration with regard to U.S.-Iran relations, he said, “I think the current president has indicated that he wants to be much more in support of strengthening the people’s hand and, at the same time, weakening the regime. And I think that’s exactly what we were hoping to hear.”
He said this rhetoric and support “should not be limited to the U.S,” adding that he’s “always advocated that the empowerment of any people is always the best solution at the end, especially when they have to fight very oppressive regimes. So, engaging with the people, helping civil society in these countries, is the quickest path to maximizing the success of such nations to overcome whatever struggle they are facing.”
Iran’s former recently died. The businessman had a checkered political past and was considered the father of Iran’s nuclear program. While some within the regime described his as a “man of peace,” he was better remembered by many of the Iranian people as an oppressor and for having orchestrated several international terrorist atrocities.
The crown prince also commented on the recent death of Iran’s former president, Hashami Rafsanjani, who was described in the media as a “man of peace” but who was the father of Iran’s nuclear program, as well as an oppressive ruler. Pahlavi compared Rafsanjani’s death to the passing of Cuba’s late dictator Fidel Castro: “It’s not the same anymore, no matter how many more junior cadres remain. And in that sense, more of a void will be created.” He noted the importance of making sure that “the void is filled with the proper alternative. That’s something everyone should be concerned with.”
Earlier Monday evening, Pahlavi addressed a private audience and urged “civil disobedience by means of non-violence.”
Although he did not mention President Barack Obama by name, the crown prince said, “When you fight extremely brutal regimes, such movements cannot succeed without having tacit support from other freedom-loving countries and governments.” His words evoked memories of the failure of the Obama administration to provide much-needed support to the ailing Iranian people during the 2009 Green Revolution and the stolen election that fueled it.
With Rafsanjani’s death, however, the crown prince noted that “the regime is pretty much beginning to show indications of fragmentation, going eventually towards their collapse.” He noted “the importance of making sure that the path to the alternative is as smooth as possible and that complete measures are taken to make sure that a dictatorship will not be replaced by another one. And that, indeed, it is the people who will triumph and nobody else.”
Asked if the crown prince would consider taking on an elected or lineal leadership role in his country of birth, and the land where his father reigned as its last king, Pahlavi said:
I’ve always said this is not about me. It’s about the Iranian people and their opportunity to finally get self-determination and freedom. That’s my only objective at this point. And the day that we have free elections will be the day I will consider my political mission in life accomplished. From that day on, I cannot tell you now what the circumstances will be. I’ve always said that I’m ready to serve my country, in whatever capacity that my constituents choose.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz
(This post was originally published on November 2, 2014 by Adelle Nazarian)
Tonight, Anthony Bourdain asked the world to “put politics aside” as he provided viewers with a unique look inside a nation which has one of the richest and oldest cultures in history; a country that is beholden to one of the greatest dichotomies a population can exude. Iranians are extremists alright. Extreme in their ability to open their hearts and homes to complete strangers, yet tied inevitably to a regime which holds oppression at its core; deception is no stranger to this beautiful land which keeps many secrets, including recipes to some of the most delicious food one’s palette can indulge in.
As I watched Bourdain go through the process of sampling foods in Iran that I have grown up eating in America, I didn’t necessarily feel a sense of pride. After all, I AM AN AMERICAN. Then I watched him take a bite into Iranian takeout pizza which was served with ketchup and I seemed to better understand where my love for the great American condiment comes from (“I eat my ketchup with ketchup”). That scene also reminded me of my paternal grandmother’s first few attempts at making pasta, which she fed to me and my two younger siblings with ketchup! I didn’t understand it then, nor did I detest it, but somehow tonight it all seemed to make more sense. Maman Rachel started serving pasta with marinara sauce after that, but I made sure her homemade french fries were also present on Italian night ;).
The loyalty of an Iranian is unparalleled. But their loyalty will forever lie with “Vatan” (homeland). And Iran’s general population knows not the feeling of rejection, abandonment, years of blood, sweat and tears crippling right before their very eyes. That’s the experience my parents’ families had. And it’s precisely the experience that I know will be etched onto my heart in the coming days, months, and years. Especially with midterms just two days away (Nov. 4) and the potentially pivotal presidential election of 2016 drawing near.
Amid calls of “marg bar Umreeka!” (death to America!) and “marg bar Israeel!” (death to Israel!) the civilian population knows that a “friendship with America” is a priceless asset for the land which is home to Cyrus the Great; the king who created the first Charter for Human Rights known to mankind and who is praised in the Torah for bringing an end to the Jewish exile in Babylon.
Yet, as I look at the faces of the men, women and children on the television screen in front of me, listening to their voices crying out in unison “Ay delaam” (oh my heart), my own heart is filled with gratitude to my parents for providing me with the best of both cultures and worlds (Del is one of my nicknames). Yet it hardens as I recall the history behind my own story as a first-generation American whose parents were born in Iran and were forced to flee their homeland in search of a new one. The Iran of today is not the Iran of the Shah…nor is it the Iran of Cyrus the Great.
America is now Albert and Anita’s (dad and mom’s) “vatan.” It has been for the last 40+ years.
My parents chose the United States of America as their new home. They underwent a legal process to arrive in the States and became U.S. citizens soon after.
The chelo kabbab, deezee, beryani, polo, khoresht, and so many other delectable and palatable dishes served on screen were presented in portions that could feed an army twice over; after all, the culture of hospitality is no stranger to the people of Iran. But at the end of the day, it is Iran’s interests that lie at the heart of the Iranian people from start to finish; not America, nor American interests. And at the end of the day, the only way America can carry out its innate responsibility to defend its own people before it takes on its promise to aid the other nations of the world, is through exceptionalism… AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM. What the world needs is another Reagan of our time. Fifty years later, we are faced with another “Time for Choosing.”
No matter how we’d like to paint it, we can’t simply “put politics aside.” This is not the time nor the place to do so. Come November 4, we will all be faced with a choice and must prepare again for a potentially-pivotal election in 2016. Choose America. And choose someone who has America and American exceptionalism at their core. For a strong America leads to a stronger world.
If there’s anyone who can help in the journey towards achieving a more peaceful atmosphere in the Middle East, then perhaps it is Arian Lev.
Nicknamed “The Laser,” Arian is able to read a person’s mind and reveal their inner situation. By channeling peoples’ emotions she is able to see both the physical and emotional barriers that inhibit someone from realizing their full potential.
Arian, is well known in the Israeli media and has worked with thou
sands of people from all over the globe (including clients from Europe, the United States and Canada). She’s delivered messages to Madonna, Britney Spears and more recently to Oprah Winfrey. The crux of her focus, however, has been on the Middle East with Israeli-Arab patients, Palestinian Arabs, Iranians and individuals from Saudi Arabia.
Arian also speaks Hebrew and Arabic fluently. She has already helped with the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories through use of her rare and unique method. She believes each individual person is where change must begin.
Personal testimonies from students who have graduated from her course reveal a wholesome and positive outlook in a place where negativity and hatred once lived.
Arian’s ability to open peoples’ hearts has allowed for individuals from both sides of the fence to realize where their negative beliefs and hatred stems from and nurses them through reprogramming this way of thinking to a more positive and peace-loving outlook.
In certain places where the air was once so thick with the poisonous smells of war and fear, the scents of fresh kebabs and childrens’ laughter have taken it’s place, thanks to Arian.
“Every client is a whole world, from my point of view and I will do everything to enable him to live his life to the fullest,” she says. Arian is an enabler of good and although she has her work cut out for her, she’s already left her mark in that region and her span will continue to be extended throughout the Arab world in the hopes that a more peaceful way of life can ensue there.
As Iran has been gripped by protest, violence and allegations of vote fraud in the wake of a contentious national election, people around the world are watching — but perhaps none more closely than the young Iranians who helped push voter turnout to record levels.
Some of those young Iranians, in interviews with FOXNews.com, spoke openly about their hopes and fears in the wake of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s contested victory over reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi.
“My fellow (Iranian) classmates in Turkey were crying when they found out the news,” said Amir Arman, who is a 33-year-old doctoral candidate studying social psychology in Turkey.
He said he wanted Mousavi to win badly.
“Mousavi is not necessarily the best candidate. But he is the least-worst of all four candidates,” Arman said, adding that one of his reasons for backing Mousavi was his fear that the world’s oil reserves are running out. “If Mousavi comes to the stage, he will bring nuclear power to the scene.”
Arman also is concerned about the lack of civil freedoms in Iran and poor management of the government.
Other Iranians gave different reasons for voting for Mousavi.
“If there was a 1 percent, just a 1 percent chance that I could keep Ahmadinejad’s vote from coming up, that’s the chance I took,” said a 27-year-old woman who asked to be indentified only by her first name, Samereh, for fear of retribution.
Samereh, who moved to Shomal from Tehran for work a few months ago, compared the Iranian government to the Taliban. She said people are fed up and willing to die for their country.
Mid-conversation, the Yahoo chat function on her computer started faltering. Minutes later, her connection was lost.
“The government is taking satellites down from peoples’ homes,” she said. “They’re everywhere.”
Masoud, a 27-year-old computer engineer who is fluent in both English and Farsi, also spoke on condition that his last name not be revealed.
He currently is unemployed, which is common among today’s young people in Iran, a sign of less-than-hopeful economic times. Masoud blames Ahmadinejad for this and said that while Ahmadinejad is in office Iran’s “freedom, economic situation and our relation with other countries are getting worse.”
Samereh and Masoud both expressed frustration with Ahmadinejad’s “superstitious” mentality and how he used warnings of foreign threats as a tool to boost himself to the presidency.
“A lot of people voted for him because … they were afraid of Ahmadinejad’s curse,” Samereh said. “They play with peoples’ senses.”
All three Iranians said they are tired of the Islamic republic’s current regime, in particular its mismanagement of the government and the economy.
But in an unprecedented move, Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council announced it will review ballots in a partial recount after what is believed to be the largest voter turnout in Iranian history.
Not all Iranians are optimistic that the outcome will be fair.
“In these times, you can’t trust anyone,” Samereh said.