Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 262

++ After the fuel demonstrations in Iran were quashed, Iran’s right wing claimed the MEK was behind the violent unrest. The MEK also claimed they were behind it. Genuine opposition groups and demonstrators said they need to have the right atmosphere and conditions so that people can demand their rights without the interference of MEK, Pompeo, bullets, burning buildings and vandalism. Commentators say that interference by MEK and such like in the protests has led to people supporting the current ruling regime or at least refusing to come out on the streets. Western support for MEK and the demonstrations at the same time is stopping the democratic processes and the struggle of the genuine human rights organisations.
++ The soul of Massoud Rajavi issued a statement in Farsi (which was not translated into English). In it he has been lashing the Saudis alongside Iranian media outlets in London (BBC Persian, Iran International, Man-o-To). Rajavi’s ghost specifically referred to Massoud Khodabandeh’s statements about gold and money being paid to MEK by the Saudis, saying these are all lies. He also verbally lashes the Saudis, telling them that they couldn’t even retaliate for the Yemeni drone attack (alleged to have been by Iran) on their oil facilities (he means they didn’t start a war against Iran) and that they are not capable of standing up to Iran.
++ The point that Massoud Rajavi’s rant has only been issued in Farsi (and from Massoud Rajavi who is presumed dead and not the current leader Maryam Rajavi) shows this has been done only to shut up the dissent inside the camp rather than being about biting the hands feeding them. Ebrahim Khodabandeh of Nejat Society wrote a short note of explanation saying that after losing Saddam, Rajavi found the Saudis as the MEK benefactor. Now that the Saudis have started talking with Iran Rajavi is in deep shit. Khodabandeh advised Rajavi to let the MEK hostages go free as it is unlikely that any other benefactor could be found to replace the Saudis.
++ After the earthquake in Albania and casualties were reported, MEK gave no response. Critics of the MEK say the MEK should publish the names of any victims to inform the families of the hostages in the camp. Instead, the MEK issued propaganda (only in Farsi) that they are helping the Albanian people – photos are published of the MEK giving glasses to a child inside a building in the camp. (Albanian news shows that the free glasses – given to the MEK by America as part of a medical care package – were distributed among the local population well before the earthquake.) In any case, MEK critics say, why not help the MEK members? What is this? Why are you helping the Albanians and not your own people?

In English:

++ Several articles identify MEK as an artificial and insidious force interfering in the fuel protests in Iran. It is acknowledged that ordinary Iranians are not seeking regime change but are protesting genuine grievances. When the violence started, ordinary Iranians went home. MEK are seen by analysts as an externally promoted force which wants to introduce extremism.
++ Following the earthquake in Albania, a report was published in Balkans Post claiming that many MEK members were killed and injured. Since the MEK has kept silent on the issue, there is no way of knowing what happened behind the closed doors of the camp.
++ Nora Doyle-Burr, Valley News reports on some MEK supporters. Maria Ryan, Cottage Hospital CEO and consort of Rudi Giuliani, has exposed herself – as many MEK fans do – as a fool for the taking. Apparently, she was moved by the plight of Iranian women only after hearing about them from Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. Since then Ryan has travelled around a bit promoting the MEK, with Giuliani. “The New York Times reported in 2011 that the group paid speakers of diverse political backgrounds between $10,000 and $50,000 per appearance”, writes Doyle-Burr. Enough said.

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