They are risking “peoples lives” to bring liberty to Iran, and vow to continue their protests.
“These uprisings have just begun. People are not at all willing to give up, ” one activist told Fox News from the streets of Iran.
“Their patience has come to an end and they have nothing to lose. Iran will surely not fall down and people will not retreat from their demands.”
The defiance comes as President Trump announced Friday “that hes” waving sanctions against Iran under the controversial nuclear bargain one last period, and devoted the European allies four months to change the terms of the agreement or he may seek to scrap it.
The protesters we talked to demand even harsher sanctions.
“They should impose major sanctions on the regime, ” one protestor demanded. Another added there “should be sanctions for human rights violations.”
The protesters are members of the long-banned opponent group the National Council of Resistance of Iran, also known as the MEK. The group’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, has been immediately blamed by the Iranian government for fomenting the unrest. Social media videos prove advocates unveiling large flags with Mrs. Rajavi’s photograph over freeway overpasses, and continuing their opposition.
The group is calling for Iran’s oil exports to also be subject to sanctions, the ability of the Tehran regime to access the international banking system be cut off, as well as other punitive measures.
The activists predict stronger methods will work, and are thanking the President and the American populace for maintaining up the pressure.
“We thank you President Trump. We call on all of the supporters of the ones who press this regime from different fronts, to put pressure with you and subvert with us, ” the activist told Fox News in his broken English.
He and others are grateful that the Trump administration is expressing support for the resistance that has been staging many of the protests. The demoes started on Dec. 28, and the government claims that they have largely been quelled. That is why the activists are looking to the United States for inspiration…and more help.
“Iranian people want to achieve a democratic and independent government, and play a role in it, ” said one.
“In Iran taxis and buses and public places, you heard people talking that they are happy that the United States and President Trump is actually taking actions on the side of the Iranian people and as you know, the subvert of this regime and establishment of a free country is in the interest of the whole world. This support should continue, and years of appeasement should objective. People are very determined and do not retreat despite this severe crackdown.”
The demonstrators deny the protests are largely over. Videos posted on social media depict activists attacking government outposts, such as firebombing police station, destroying government property, and chanting anti-regime slogans.
Fox News interviewed the protesters through a social media app that demonstrators have been using to escape the government crackdown on the internet. The protesters we interviewed asked for their locations to be concealed, and their voices changed or not even used at all, out of were afraid that they could be identified by the government and arrested.
But they all carried a common goal. They insisted the movement will not end until the hard-line theocratic regime is eventually ousted.
“To reach this goal they know the value of the support, ” one activist told us.
The support from the White House has included President Trump’s harsh criticism of the regime and its treatment of the demonstrators.
On Jan. 3, he tweeted: “Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupted government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time! “
Earlier this week, a White House statement condemned the regime and its mass arrests of protestors. It also said “reports that the regime has tortured or killed some of these demonstrators while in detention are even more disturbing. We will not remain silent as the Iranian totalitarianism represses the basic rights of its citizens and will hold Iran’s leaders accountable for any violations.”
One activist was so scared that he refused to talk, and instead texted this about the president’s views.
“He is correct and we approve of what he spoke. He should help the Iranian people. We need internet as the internet in Iran is banned. We ask President Trump to convince European Union to ban the Mullah. We want President Trump to widespread Iranian sound all over the world and demonstrate Mullah’s injustice to the people of the world.”
In announcing the waiver decision, the president appeared to do only that. The White House statement included several references to the regime’s therapy of the protestors 😛 TAGEND
“The Supreme Leader and his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps use mass arrests and torture to oppress and stillness Iran’s people . … We are calling on all nations to give similar support to the Iranian people, who are suffering under a regime that is stifling basic freedoms and denying its citizens the opportunity to build better lives for their families — an opportunity that is every human being’s God-given right . … President Obama failed to act as the Iranian people took to the streets in 2009. He turned a blind eye as Iran built and tested dangerous weapons and exported terror . …( The Iran deal) has served as a slush fund for weapons, terror and oppression, and to further line the pockets of corrupted regime leaders. The Iranian people know this, which is one reason why so many have taken to the streets to express their outrage.”
The president’s remarks slamming the regime have been echoed by other top administration officials, as well.
“Iran is the leading nation sponsor of terrorism in the world, ” Vice President Mike Pence told the Voice of America earlier this month. “To find the person or persons of Iran rising up, to demand change in their country, should hearten every liberty loving American and people who cherish freedom around the world.”
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council last week, “They( the protesters) are behave of their own will, on their own behalf, for their futures. Nothing will stop Americans from standing in solidarity with them. In 2009, the world stand by passively while the hopes of the Iranian people were crushed by their government. In 2018, we will not be silent.”
The NCRI says there have been demonstrations in at the least 132 cities and that upwards of 8,000 protesters have been arrested. One Iranian lawmaker was quoted as saying the number was closer to about 4,000.
One activist texted us that his motivation to overthrow the ruling regime, is simple.
“We have no life in Iran. Our life and death is equal. We have nothing to miss. We want liberty. Just poverty, unemployment and corruption is the result of the Mullah regime…young people are unemployed. Educated people escape to other countries. Our country has a brain drain problem. The regime does not concern the Iranian people and squelches any protest and hurls people in jail. We want Mr.( Trump) to help us in whatever style he knows.”
Another was also very clear.
“Nobody wants to go back, we want to go forward. People what a free republic, that is something that people have been chanting. We know that we need to be at risk for a revolution. This is an inevitable revolution and we are adopting it.”
Ben Evansky contributed to this report .
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