Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 261

++ The main issue in Farsi was the BBC report from Albania which was translated into Farsi as well as French and Albanian. The MEK went into overdrive, swearing and threatening. They used their maximum resources in Farsi and English to try to bend reality to their version of events in order to discredit the BBC. Some of those who are close to them in Albania are questioning this and say this is making things worse. ‘Why are MEK calling them “Ayatollah BBC” when Iran’s worst enemy is the BBC’, they ask, ‘it doesn’t add up’. MEK’s Shahin Gobadi told members in a meeting that ‘we do this to make others stop, we make the price of criticism so high that they won’t dare write against us. They know that if we swear at the BBC, we will do the same against them’. The only supporter MEK could find to defend them is Lord Clarke of Hampstead, a veteran MEK advocate in the House of Lords. However, no outlet was interested in publishing his writing, so it had to be re-hashed between MEK sites – Iran Focus, Iran News Update, NCRI, MEK etc. Ironically, someone who has had access to some of the mass of emails complaining to the BBC using pseudonyms, has given a quick analysis. And it happens that they all originate from Tirana and the troll farm and three IPs in London. Which are also the same IPs as Iran Focus and Iran News Update. When this was exposed in Farsi there was a furious backlash. Some ex-members commented and challenged MEK ‘what did the BBC say that is not true? You won’t answer what the BBC said, but which bit of the report haven’t you announced yourself – the divorces, the separation of families, etc?’.
++ The moment the MEK and Pompeo entered into the protests everyone went home. Many opposition personalities are saying we have been forced to shut up and not complain about anything. Whatever happens in Iran, Pompeo or Bolton or MEK want to highjack the protest or demonstration. Therefore, we are stuck. Ironically, these opposition writers have had to address the government they are protesting against to solve this problem. They demand the Iranian government deal with these interlopers and provide more security so they can hold genuine protests and demonstrations. ‘We have to side with the government because our common enemy is Pompeo and MEK’ they say. We ask our government to deal with this external threat so we can have our activities.
In English:
++ The MEK members in Albania (members and formers) continue to hold a disturbed fascination for the media there. Formers accused by MEK’s Ali Safavi of being ‘agents of the Iranian regime’ were interviewed by several media outlets to give their side of the story. Whatever MEK does seems to not work out well for them, though they have still been able to keep a tight hold on those captives in their enclave.
++ Linda Pressly and Albana Kasapi’s radio report for the BBC was written up as a long and detailed article which through interviews and quotes exposes the whole controversy of the MEK’s presence in Albania. Some Albanians commented to Iran-Interlink privately that the country was much better off before MEK arrived.
++ Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, an expert on US foreign policy, in an interview with the Balkans Post, says that given the MEK’s past – which she talks about in the interview – it would not be surprising that MEK is used to “carry out acts of terror and sabotage in Europe and place the blame on Tehran”.

++ Several Iranian media outlets published articles in English reviewing various aspects of MEK’s history of enmity against their former country – what is referred to as MEK’s ‘dark history’ of assassinations and bombings which killed over 12,000 Iranian civilians. In one article, MEK’s history of support for the hostage takers at the American embassy in 1980 is exposed through its own publications.
++ MEK’s role in the recent protests against fuel price rises is demonstrated through various articles to have been extremely negative and damaging. Iranian protesters saw very quickly and clearly that their spontaneous activities had been highjacked by the US and its agents like MEK and Reza Pahlavi. They went home. The activities of Iran’s genuine indigenous opposition groups have again been quashed; their genuine grievances exploited by external agents for regime change. It must be clear by now that nobody in Iran wants regime change and especially not with US-backed MEK involvement.

November 22, 2019

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