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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 262

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++ There have been several pieces in Farsi about the Giuliani affair and how after already losing John Bolton the MEK are now in a panic over losing Giuliani too.

++ An article answers Maryam Rajavi’s statement declaring that she is against the Turkish actions in Syria and is supporting the Kurds. This article points out that Rajavi killed more Kurds than anyone. That’s the reason the Kurdish council boycotted the UANI session in New York when you were invited. Other commentary points out that Rajavi enters into everything like a mosquito, except the real issues she needs to answer for and which she hasn’t answered for three decades – the families, supporting Saddam, internal abuses, etc. Every now and then the MEK make it clear they are proud mercenaries for any issue, but then they also claim all they are about is rescuing Iran. This is why even while talking about the Turkish actions in Syria, the MEK’s announcement is announcement is 80% swearing against Iran as though Iran is responsible for this.

++ Another example of this mercenary approach is that MEK appear to believe some executions are good executions while some executions are bad. One article in particular lists all the executions committed by the MEK themselves; from killing Americans in Iran, the executions of Kurds in Iraq, right up to recent executions in Albania like Malik Sharai. It notes that the MEK was silent about all the executions by Saddam. And how in all the past four decades they have not dared to mention the barbaric executions in Saudi Arabia. As if those are OK.

In English:

++ City News, Albania reported that journalist Gjergji Thanasi has sued MEK enforcer Behzad Saffari Dehkord for defamation. Saffari has several times labelled Thanasi ‘an agent of the Iranian regime’ – the standard epithet applied to all of MEK’s critics. But perhaps when your terrorist cult has been foisted on a small, struggling country and is intolerable to every citizen except those paid by the MEK or the US, such behaviour needs to be brought to book. The MEK sent one of Albania’s highest paid lawyers to the first hearing, but Saffari will be obliged to attend the next hearing in person.

++ Mazda Parsi, Nejat Bloggers, refers to the book ‘Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support For Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements’ by Ted Carpenter of the Cato Institute and reviews the chapter on the MEK. Parsi says that advocacy for the MEK is not limited to the U.S. and Israel but includes Saudi Arabia and now Albania. According to Reza Alghurabi of the Herald Tribune, Albania’s support was bought by the U.S. which paid $25m to the government and $20m to the UNHCR. The MEK has also generously paid “hefty sums of money for a ten-minute speech on behalf of the group”. Such payments have corrupted Albania’s approach to Iran. “In exchange the Albanian authorities serve them with hostile acts towards Iran”, says Parsi. However, no matter how much the MEK’s advocates try to pretend that the Iranian people do not loathe the MEK, this is an established fact.

++ A piece in the Tehran Times reviews the work of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian. Mahdavian has made two films about the MEK’s history in Iran, Trace of Blood and The Midday Event. “The stories of “The Midday Event” and “Trace of Blood” were set in the 1980s when Mahdavian and Ebrahim Amini, with whom he co-wrote the screenplays for the films, were only children. However, in an interview with Mahdavian, veteran critic Hushang Golmakani, who works for the Persian monthly Film, called the details of the sets and dialogues of “Trace of Blood” perfect. ‘The film has the potential to be biased, but it has maintained its balance. The film has very good dialogues and perfect ending’, Golmakani noted. It appears that a perfect filmmaker who is genuinely skilled in transforming real political narratives into films has emerged.”

++ MEK advocate Rudi Giuliani was in the spotlight this week with several articles mentioning the MEK as one of many foreign groups who have paid him handsomely for his advocacy. In relation to the MEK, Politico reported that “Giuliani has claimed he’s only working ‘as a private citizen—thank God I can still do that’.” NBC News ran a lengthy detailed examination of Giuliani and other high-profile figures who have been happy to shill for the MEK over many years without registering as lobbyists for a foreign group. This may or may not be the beginning of Giuliani’s downfall. But it certainly is another nail in the coffin of the MEK.

++ Muhammad Sahimi in Lobelog describes UANI sponsored gatherings of so-called Iranian opposition groups as the U.S. far right’s efforts “ to exploit Iran’s diverse ethnic population in order to stir trouble in the country and advance its anti-Iran agenda”. Sahimi details the background of these groups and concludes: “The attempt by UANI, a group that reportedly receives a lot of its funding from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to provoke ethnic strife in Iran may well lead to more bloodshed, but it will likely ultimately fail. Iranians of diverse backgrounds have lived together side-by-side and have preserved their nation for thousands of years. Iran’s true opposition inside the country—the reformists, religious-nationalists, secular leftists, labor groups, human rights activists, and others—and its supporters in the diaspora reject discrimination against minorities, ethnic tensions, economic sanctions, military threats, and foreign intervention. In the democratic Iran that the true opposition will eventually achieve, all Iranians, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or gender, will be equal.”
October 18, 2019

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