Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 265

++ Coronavirus is, of course, a hot topic and the MEK has been on overdrive to keep itself relevant by falsifying films, audios, and reports so as to denounce Iran for its response to the virus. This has resulted in a backlash among Iranians, including the external opposition. People writing against the MEK in Farsi say simply that it’s a nasty thing to do. A few people go on to say that Rajavi has lost the plot. First, thinking Saddam would help topple the regime. Then thinking Giuliani and Bolton would do it and now Rajavi is left expecting Coronavirus to perform regime change. The MEK’s misinformation campaign has spawned the hashtag #MEKtrolls on Twitter.

++ While doing this, there are reports in Farsi about what is happening inside the camp in Albania. Some members have reported suspicious events – people vanishing and others showing cold like symptoms. The inference is that the virus is spreading in the camp but there are no testing kits or access to medical professionals. Families of MEK members are worried about their loved ones. They say the rumours are disturbing.

++ For the last two weeks the MEK has been working hard on damage limitation over the New York Times article. Those answering back against the MEK point out that all the MEK’s attacks are against the reporter. The only thing MEK says is that ‘because the NYT published this, the regime will come and kill us all’. There is no evidence of how that could be achieved since Albania is a NATO country. In addition, what does any of that have to do with this article and why do you never answer anything in the article itself – which bit is correct or which bit is wrong in your opinion. You just rant and hope the troll farm will sort you out. It doesn’t, it won’t.

++ 20th February was the anniversary of the murder of Zaha Rajabi in Turkey in 1996. Rajabi was a member of the leadership cadre, in charge of the MEK’s trafficking activity; mostly arranging for recruits to transfer to Iraq rather than Europe which they would have been promised. Suddenly, this year, Maryam Rajavi wants to call her the MEK’s human rights martyr. Some older people who remember those days have said no, Rajabi was killed in a room with her boyfriend and she was pregnant at the time. This was when the internal Ideological Revolution [forced divorces and celibacy] was in full swing and Rajavi imposed a harsh crackdown on all members. For this reason, nobody but the MEK would have killed her. Her role was trafficking people, but unfortunately for her she fell in love.

In English:

++ Robert Fantina in Global Research writes about continued U.S. support for the MEK terrorists. “So with fading support, and funding probably coming from Israel, and thus, at least indirectly, from the U.S., what is the MEK to do? Hapless Albania must continue to house them, against the wishes of Albanians, but their leaders are in a U.S. chokehold, so they don’t have much choice. The U.S. wants the MEK nearby in case it needs their terrorism for some reason; the U.S. is not averse to having some other country do its dirty work: witness the U.S.-financed Saudi slaughter of Yemenis, as just one example. And should the Albanian government decide to act as its people want, rather than as the U.S. demands, would the MEK then turn its terrorism on them? Albania has certainly been put between a rock and a hard place by the U.S., which doesn’t care in the least about it or the Albanian people; the whole nation is just a pawn in an international chess game that the U.S. is playing, that no one else is interested in.”

++ Alireza Niknam writing for Geopolitica examines definitions of terrorism – for example, in Europe operations that cause financial loss without risking lives are considered to be terrorist operations. Niknam covers the assassination of General Soleimani and the Ahwaz parade attack. The writer highlights the U.S. hypocrisy of killing a general who had contributed to the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, while supporting the terrorist MEK which has killed thousands of their own people.

++ Anne Khodabandeh wrote for The Iranian that U.S. Iran policy has been backed into a corner by misguided support for the MEK. “…continued engagement with the MEK indicates that the Trump administration still clings to the delusion that the MEK has leverage or influence or power in relation to events in Iran. It does not. The enduring support of MEK by anti-Iran pundits defies logic. Nothing has been gained throughout the past four decades. Much has been lost that can be linked to this support. The MEK promises regime change but cannot even come close to delivering.” This support, argues the writer, enabled the MEK to coerce Albania’s leaders into taking actions contrary to the country’s interests. This has not only enraged Albanian citizens and alienated the European Union, it will not further American policy toward Iran.

++ Ebrahim Khodabandeh, CEO of Nejat Society in Iran, has written an open letter addressed to those with awakened human consciences. The estranged families of MEK members have tried for decades to have human rights officials all over the world listen to their pleas for help. It appears they have no consciences. Let’s see if this letter finally reaches the eyes and ears of those who can and should help.

++ Award winning Albanian journalist Gjergji Thanasi wrote a response to the Nejat Society’s appeal. “As an Albanian who has extensive information about the MEK and their paramilitary facility near Manez town (Ashraf 3 Camp), I pity the rank and file MEK members who are little more than serfs to their lady owner, the old stateless harpy Maryam Rajavi!
“As an Albanian I consider Rajavi’s activity in Albania to be a threat to the national security of my homeland and a blatant violation of human rights of the poor cult members!

“Tell the families to wait and hope. Their loved ones momentarily are simply doomed. It is easier to break out from a low security jail than to leave Camp Ashraf 3. The quisling segments in the Albanian government and opposition behave shamefully like lap dogs to that evil woman Rajavi.
“Momentarily there is very little you can do. It is virtually impossible to receive an Albanian visa as a holder of an Iranian passport. Only those Iranians who are holders of EU, British, American, Canadian, Australian and New Zeeland passports can enter Albania. Even they will suffer a low-level harassment from our police.
“Nothing special that cannot be handled by your Albanian lawyer. They will face a vigorous slander campaign on the part of MEK. The usual stuff: spies of the Mullahs’ regime, terrorists of the Quds force, even in case of senior citizens 70 years old or more.”

++ Mazda Parsi writing for Nejat Bloggers examines the MEK’s love affair with other extremists. The MEK is an extremist movement because “studying the group’s substance and function, one can find out that the MEK has some traits in common with every extremist ideology”. Referencing Robert Fantina’s article in Global Research, Parsi lists other extremist allies, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the far-right Vox in Spain. As an extremist group MEK can align with other extremists regardless their stated ideological beliefs because they all “squeeze through the rifts they make in societies”.

++ Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, denounced the MEK’s anti-Iran messaging over the Coronavirus outbreak in Iran. He accuses the MEK of trying to force public opinion into a “mental deadlock” through a duplicitous media and news campaign. “In the early stages of the virus’ emergence in Iran, when the country had not yet sensed the urgency to seek foreign aid, the media campaign tried to imply that the Tehran government would resist Western assistance even at the expense of its people’s lives, he said.

“At the time, they were trying to create the impression that Iran was facing international isolation, and that no country was willing to provide it with emergency aid, Baeidinejad noted.

“In the second phase, the propaganda drive alleged that the foreign medical supplies that had entered the country, including testing kits, were contaminated, he said.
“The official gave assurances that Iran procures the foreign items required through trusted suppliers, and that all the relevant sanitary standards are observed in the process.”

 Mar 06, 2020

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