I am wondering where the Albanian government is heading by giving full support to a terrorist cult, which they hosted back in 2016 after it was expelled from Iraq.
The Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO, NCRI, NLA, or better known as the Rajavi cult) had a military base in Iraq facilitated by Saddam Hussein and they actively participated against their own county alongside the enemy in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
This was alongside a terrorist campaign waged inside Iran in the early 80s which claimed 12,000 lives. They also joined with Saddam’s army to suppress the 1991 uprisings in the north and south of Iraq.
The cult has also a disturbing record of abusing the human rights of its own members who are brainwashed and isolated in a closed camp, first in Iraq and now in Albania.
Saddam who had a hostile attitude towards Iran and Iranians used the MEK terrorist cult to carry out sabotage activities inside Iran until he was overthrown by the American invasion of the country in 2003.
MEK moved from Iraq to Albania
After the fall of the Baghdad dictator in 2003, the Iraqi governments, one after the other, insisted that the MEK, which they found a threat to the country’s national security, be expelled from Iraq. The problem was that no country was prepared to host them until Albania showed itself willing to do so for the short-term benefit of some politicians.
At the present time the Albanian government serves the cult in the same way as Saddam Hussein did in the past.
Trump Thanks Albania for ‘Standing Up To Iran’
On January 15, 2020 it was announced that ‘Albania Expelled Two More Iranian Diplomats’. Acting Albanian Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj announced the decision in a Facebook post. “The two representatives of the Islamic Republic have been asked to leave the territory of the Republic of Albania immediately,” Cakaj wrote, without offering further details.
U.S. President Donald Trump thanked Albania for expelling Iran’s diplomats for alleged national security reasons. According to the U.S. embassy in Tirana, Trump thanked Prime Minister Edi Rama in a letter for his “steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran”.
The Trump administration’s hostility towards Iran and Iranians is no secret, and the US president thinks that he might somehow use the MEK terrorist cult against Iran. This is why he supports the group and tries to keep it intact despite violations of the basic rights of the members.
The role of the Albanian government in this matter is no more than blindly following Washington’s guidelines, even if that means paying the price of losing the EU membership that they are so eager to gain.
Albania is an EU candidate country and it has made considerable progress in recent years in meeting the political criteria and the objectives related to the five key priorities for the opening of accession negotiations. However, the Albanian government needs to further tackle the remaining challenges in a sustainable, comprehensive and tangible manner, particularly when it comes to the fight against corruption at all levels, the fight against organized crime, promotion of the rule of law as well as judicial reform, the protection of minorities and establishment of good neighborly relations.
Now Albania, to appease its US instructors, has hosted a terrorist cult in Europe and fully supports it by every possible means. Defectors from the MEK are put under enormous pressure in order to be forced into returning to the cult, and the members are denied any contact with the outside world, particularly with their families. The Albanian government prevents the families of the MEK members from going there and visiting their loved ones.
What are the Albanians up to?
The Albanian government apparently prefers the short-term benefits of turning against Iran and supporting MEK against Iran to its long-term benefits in relation to Europe and the wider world. The MEK is no longer a security or even political threat for Iran, it is rather a human rights issue. But the MEK could well be a threat for Albania as well as the whole Europe.
The members have been brought to Albania without travel documents and therefore they have no legal status in the country (they are stateless) and they are currently living in conditions of modern slavery at the hands of the cult leaders.
In Albania, hundreds of members have left the cult and they have no legal and financial support at all. Thousands of families are deprived from having any contact with their loved ones in the MEK camp.
I am afraid the Albanians are taking a great risk by fully following Trump’s hostile policy towards Iran and Iranians. The support given by the Albanian government for US actions are unique in the world and will by no means make them closer to Europe.