Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 217

++ There was, as could be expected, a lot of Farsi activity on the internet this week. Much of this was shouting back at Rajavi and her misuse of the people’s demonstrations in Iran. The Twitter hashtags #shutuprajavi (along with #shutupTrump) and in Farsi ‘rajavikhafesho’ are still active in Farsi and English, inside and outside Iran.

++ Four times, the MEK has issued messages purported to be from Massoud Rajavi. Everyone is laughing, saying: ‘He’s dead! You can’t even produce his voice anymore. He is a ‘Dead man Talking’.’

++ This week some Israeli Zionist and American Neocon media outlets published pieces saying, ‘the way forward is to arm demonstrators in Iran’. This has become a laughing stock as well – ‘as though they don’t do this already!’ Massoud Khodabandeh commented “demonstrators demonstrate – the ones who beg for US arms are ISIS and MEK”.

In English:

++ Massoud Khodabandeh posted a comment on Facebook about the MEK waving the Iranian flag from the time of the Shah at pickets outside the White House:

“MEK (Rajavi) assassinated Americans to change the flag of Iran –

Now they are waving the same flag asking Americans to bring it back”

++ Among the storm of media coverage of the Iran protests there are several which describe the MEK (and Monarchists and Green Movement) for their readers. The common themes are: ‘the MEK is deeply unpopular in Iran, the MEK is a cult-like group, the MEK is backed by regime change pundits, the MEK is paid by Saudi Arabia, the MEK killed Americans/Iranians/Iraqis and collaborated with Saddam Hussein. Perhaps the most pertinent comment comes from Newsweek: “It also remains the perpetual boogey man of the regime”. Sott Net let us know that (IRGC) “Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also reported that ‘a large number of the arrested trouble-makers at the center of the sedition had received training from counter-revolutionaries and the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization’”. The Peninsular wrote “To be sure, the White House backing the MEK would embolden the Iranian regime’s narrative that the unrest in the country’s major cities is orchestrated by Tehran’s ‘enemies’ including the MEK, as well as the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.”

India’s APN also waded into the media waves with “Iran’s top leadership believes that the recent violent protests in Iran were the result of the coordinated efforts of a ‘triangle’ having US-Israel at one side, Saudi Arabia and Mujahideen-e-Khalq Organisation (MKO), the designated terror group holding the other two sides.”

++ Criticism of the ‘regime change agenda’ was also rife in reporting and analysing the protests in Iran. Ceylon Times concluded “The news lately has revealed that the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are openly funding, supporting, arming, training and providing logistical support to Jundullah and MEK in order to take down the current sovereign government of Iran.

“Even though the USA, Saudi Arabia and Israel may not like the current government there, what right do they have to engage in this type of state sponsored terrorist behaviour?”

++ In a very informative piece, The Corbett Report unpicks the “past, present and future of US and Israeli involvement in Iran, and the attempts to foment unrest in the country” – including involvement of the MEK. It concludes: “No, this is not about the plight of the poor Iranian people. This is about achieving a key American/Israeli/Saudi geopolitical objective.

“As the dust settles on this wave of protests, it is most likely that the Iranian government will not be toppled. The opposition is unorganized, unarmed, and not drawing the masses of crowds that we have seen in previous ‘color revolutions’. But this is an ominous sign of things to come as the recent American/Israeli agreement on Iran comes to light.

“The only question is whether the people of the world are going to fall for yet another regime change operation.”

++ On the issue of fake news and misinformation, Adam Johnson of Fair.org gives a good analysis of how “insulting and sloppy” major media outlets have used “pictures of demonstrations in the United States, France, or United Kingdom—organized by a fringe, cult-like group, Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)—in place of images of the entirely unaffiliated protesters, 6,000 miles away, who are the topic of discussion”. He states, “The only major media faction that even pretends the MEK has any legitimacy within Iran is the Murdoch group, which routinely runs MEK’s blatant disinformation (Fox News, 1/1/18) and pro-regime change op-eds (Wall Street Journal, 1/8/18)”. Before concluding “No intellectually honest person takes MEK seriously as a viable alternative to the current government in Iran. The idea that it is an actual ‘Iranian opposition’ is a Western media fiction. But the group’s rallies outside Iranian embassies provide great visual fodder for indifferent or dishonest editors in need of high-quality ‘Iran protest’ images—without the mess of actually paying Iranian photographers, or dissecting the on-the-ground political reality in Iran.”

++ Mazda Parsi in Nejat Bloggers says that the MEK were so active in promoting their propaganda during the Iran protests that “one may think that the protests were originally instigated by them but actually they acted as the proxy forces of Iran enemies surfing on the waves of Iranians’ inspirations for justice and economic welfare”. Quoting MoonofAlbama, the article asserts “These people are deeply hated in Iran but feared they are not”, before reminding us that President Rouhani asked the government of President Macron to stop hosting the MEK in France.

++ In Albania, news that Maryam Rajavi has imprisoned MEK members in a closed camp outside Tirana in a state of modern slavery prompted an article by Anne Khodabandeh, published by Balkans Post. Khodabandeh points out that a MEK training camp in Albania impacts the whole Balkan region by making Albania a frontline country in Iran’s fight against terrorism.

“At the same time, no wonder that the European Union regards Albania not as a friendly neighbour but as a security risk right on its doorstep. There is no chance whatsoever of Albania joining the European Union while it hosts the MEK terrorist group.

“The Gordian Knot of Balkan states which neither the Americans, Russians nor the EU have been able to unpick would be best served if these countries found common cause in ridding this sensitive area of the one group which serves none of their interests. Nobody wants it cut by an Iranian sword.”

++ Sahar Family Foundation, Albania, published corrections to some of the MEK’s lies in an article published by Albanian website shqiptarja.com. Most importantly that there are no ‘families’ inside the MEK. Maryam Rajavi oversees compulsory celibacy and gender apartheid while no MEK member is allowed to contact their family unless to try to deceptively recruit them or get money from them.

 January 12, 2018

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