Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 254

++ In reaction to Trump’s designation of Iran’s IRGC as a terrorist entity, many scathingly commented ‘how come the IRGC – Iran’s army – is a terrorist entity, but the MEK isn’t?’ This shows how discredited the list is. Others commented on the reaction of Iranians in general – those who were not anti-American are now. Saber from Tabriz writes that the substance to this is that it is just about how to apply more sanctions. It’s just a rant. As a result, the MEK shouldn’t get too happy because they won’t get anything out of it.

++ Alongside this a lot people have been exposing the MEK’s false online claims about the floods. The MEK claimed – falsely – to be helping. Some said that they should have shown MEK wearing white helmets as well, it would have been fitting – terrorists in helmets! The MEK used photoshopped scenes and edited film to pretend Iranian rescue teams were suppressing the people. Fars News published a long report exposing the MEK’s online activities: photoshops and films which were circulated widely on western social media. Fars News went into detail about how they are created. Some were not even from inside Iran, some were in obscure, irrelevant places. People were paid to say things on camera. The piece also detailed how they hook people through social media – targeting porn sites, chat rooms and dating sites, etc.

++ A couple of Farsi sites have revealed that the MEK’s Arabic language outlets have all dropped the word Persian from ‘Persian Gulf’ when they write about it. This shows that the MEK’s masters are Saudis and this is where they have ended up. The MEK used to claim to be Iranian and anti-imperialist. Now they are the mercenaries of mercenaries.

++ Ali Akbar Kalateh died in the MEK camp in Albania this week. Maryam Rajavi was quick to announce him as a martyr. Tens of people who knew him have written saying this is a lie. They write that Kalateh never accepted the Ideological Revolution and only got stuck there as he was a POW and was delivered to the MEK by Saddam. He was afraid of coming out, but all the time he was inside MEK he was never with them. Mohammad Razaghi who knew and worked with him for years said that Kalateh famously used to say ‘I managed to get out of Saddam’s pot hole only to fall into Rajavi’s well’.

In English:

++ Daniel Larison in The American Conservative slates Tom Ridge for “resuming his discrediting advocacy” for the MEK. Larison scoffs that so many former government officials and retired officers “have embraced a totalitarian cult as the ‘alternative’ to another country’s government”, pointing out that the MEK is hated by almost all Iranians everywhere. Rajavi is a cult leader who fought against Iran for Saddam Hussein. “Every time that a prominent American shills for the MEK, it is an insult to the genuine Iranian opposition and another reminder that Iran hawks have nothing but contempt for the Iranian people.” Ridge also urges the Trump administration to be merciless in its application of sanctions because Iranians are already suffering now. Larison concluded that this suffering is caused by existing sanctions and that fanatics like Ridge are so obsessed with regime change “they don’t care how many millions of people have to be punished along the way.” The comments following this article show that the MEK is well-known to western public opinion.

++ As the MEK goes on overdrive to blame Iran’s government for the widespread flood damage and deaths, Nejat Blogger Mazda Parsi raises the question ‘who is MEK propaganda for?’ “Definitely not the Iranian nation” he says. Parsi quotes Michael Rubin who says the only thing that unites Iranians is their absolute hatred of the MEK. Instead, it is anti-Iran regime change pundits who hear what they want to hear in the MEK’s rants.

++ Iran Front Page reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif has said Iran is ready to work with France to settle regional issues such as Libya and Sudan. In his remarks, Zarif criticised France for harbouring the MEK and described this as a “problem” between Tehran and Paris.

++ A blog by Massoud Khodabandeh says the murder of MEK operative Mohammad Reza Kolahi in the Netherlands need not be a mystery; motive, means and opportunity all point to Maryam Rajavi as the chief suspect. What is under question, however, is why the Netherlands investigators are so reluctant to even question her about Kolahi.

++ Writing from Tirana, Hassan Heyrani’s blog describes an incident inside the MEK camp in Manez. When one member asks ‘Sister Maryam, why are you lying to us’ he is attacked by some members, supported by others. This resulted in Rajavi’s critics being taken to isolation – called Quarantine in MEK jargon – to await ‘Virus Removal’ – MEK jargon for brainwashing. According to Heyrani, the whole issue of overthrow has become a joke inside the MEK. (A joke that obviously has very serious consequences for those who dare to tell it or laugh at it!)

++ Paul Pillar, published by Lobelog, provides clear reasoning why designating a country’s military as an FTO is not only wrong but dangerous.

++ In another blog piece for Nejat, Mazda Parsi this time takes aim at Maryam Rajavi’s ludicrous stance on Trump’s move to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity. Like Netanyahu, Parsi says it was expected that Rajavi would thank the US President. However, “she would not act the same as Netanyahu because she does not dare to openly contradict what her husband said at Camp Ashraf. Defectors of the MKO are ready to give testimonies that the group’s disappeared leader, Massoud Rajavi always claimed that being in the US list of terrorist organizations was an honor that the MKO members were supposed to be proud of. ‘We are proud of being in the US list otherwise we should doubt our cause,’ he regularly said in the meetings, in Iraq. Maryam Rajavi does not want to recall that her group’s objectives were originally anti-American and anti-Imperialism. Thus, she has to show her contentment of more pressure against Iranian nation, in some way.”

++ Iranian dot com published an informative piece by Massoud Khodabandeh which describes how the MEK is opening a new front in Canada. Khodabandeh says that after the failure of Saudi Arabia and the MEK to sow discord between the EU and Iran, they are now targeting Canada to prevent meaningful dialogue with Iran. Iranian Canadians who are working to promote dialogue and peaceful relations are being directly attacked by MEK agents. One agent in particular has threatened legal action against the mostly volunteer workers at the Iranian Canadian Congress and journalists with the online IC Journal. Khodabandeh’s questions is, if this also fails, will the KSA and MEK escalate their activities as they did in Europe to murder people in Toronto?
April 19, 2019

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