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Exile Group Urges US To Route Proceeds From Iran's Confiscated Fuel To Workers On Strike In Iran

VENEZUELA -- The Iranian oil tanker Fortune is anchored at the dock of El Palito refinery near Puerto Cabello, May 25, 2020

Iranian Revival, a pro-monarchy political action group also known as Farashgard, is urging United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to donate the proceeds from the sale of confiscated Iranian gasoline tankers to support the families of striking workers in Iran.

On August 12, the U.S. seized over one million barrels of Iranian gasoline from four tankers traveling from Iran to Venezuela. Pompeo has expressed the government’s intention, if the gasoline proceeds are forfeited in U.S. courts, to award the proceeds from the sale of the confiscated cargo to families of Americans killed in terrorist operations in which Iran has been involved.

"We would like to offer an alternative that would advance America’s interest in punishing the world’s top sponsor of terror while also lending practical support to the Iranian people’s movement for democracy," Frashgard said in a letter to Secretary Pompeo, suggesting the allocation of the proceeds to an Iran "strike fund.”

The opposition group, which was formed in exile in September 2018 and is close to the exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi, is supportive of Iranian regime change, advocating for a secular democracy either through a republic or a constitutional monarchy determined by the people of Iran.

Helping the families of Iranian workers on strike "would aid the people’s movement to overcome the regime that has brutalized them and terrorized the Middle East region and the world for over four decades," Farashgard wrote to Pompeo.

The group also offered its assistance to the U.S. Department of State to implement their proposal, adding that such an action would be in keeping with "America’s proud legacy of supporting the Solidarity movement in Poland, an effort instrumental to toppling Communism.”

Farashgard expressed support for the U.S. administration's maximum-pressure strategy, calling it “highly effective in exposing, discrediting, and degrading" the regime.

According to reports published on social networks and unofficial trade unions, workers at Iran's oil and gas refineries and some electric power plants, as well as railway workers and employees of the massive Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industries, are currently on strike in protest to their impoverished conditions and are demanding overdue wages.

The Iranian Labor Law does not recognize the right to strike for workers, and the regime suppresses labor unions and activists who demand citizens’ freedom to strike.

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    Maryam Sinaiee

    Maryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.