Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 266

++ Everyone in the world is affected by the Coronavirus crisis and the MEK are not excepted. Massoud Rajavi has issued yet another message ‘Payam number 22’, which prompted a lot of reaction. Commentators say, ‘there’s no way he’s written this because none of it matches up, every sentence is ridiculous’. For example, Rajavi claims “the regime has started this virus and spread it in Iran and beyond”. In another part he basically says “the only way to stop the virus is to attack members of pasdaran and the army in the street because the regime has created this virus as an excuse to bring the army in the street and is lying about self-isolation. You should come out and riot.” Commentators picked up various points and responded saying ‘Rajavi is either mad or just making things up’. Saber in Tabriz says ‘Yes, let’s say it’s all true. But I know that anytime you smell kabab you come out and want your share. I can tell you this time there is no kabab, what you smell is simply the branding of donkeys to separate them into which sides they are on. There’s nothing here for you.’

++ Over the past 2-3 weeks the MEK has been on overdrive to echo Pompeo, saying sanctions against Iran should be increased. The MEK are saying ‘the regime will collapse, and we will come to Iran and take over’. Every day, whatever Pompeo says the MEK say and whatever the MEK say, Pompeo says, copying each other., At the same time both are claiming there are no sanctions on essential goods and medicines. They claim that sanctions are aimed ‘at the regime not the people’. But everybody can see the effect and knows the truth. Some commentary described the MEK’s true situation as a purely mercenary force – running a troll farm; this is their only job. Mansour Nazari in Paris wrote article for Iran Interlink connecting this to events throughout Iran’s history and says that at this specific time when there is a crisis, they are siding with those who are committing crimes against humanity, the Americans. The MEK will go down in history as betrayers of the lowest sort.

++ The MEK have taken a reporter from AFP to their camp in Albania in an attempt to whitewash the NYT report. This invited reporter has then said some neutral things about what they observed in the camp and how the MEK behaved. The MEK is now rehashing this report and spreading it everywhere. Saber says, ‘OK, I accept all that is in this report, but surely you can admit that 80% of the truth about the MEK has been omitted – divorces, estranged families, etc. As one of the families of those stranded in Albania, I tell you there are many better paid jobs than doing this. You didn’t whitewash the MEK, you dirtied yourself to their level.’

In English:

++ Several pieces warn that the secret and closed lifestyle adopted by cults like the MEK makes them a danger to health and hygiene. The MEK’s camp in Albania is not accessible to the authorities, yet members are known to have travelled to Italy in recent weeks. The MEK never divulges the true cause of death of any of its members. With the lack of testing and medical support, many might die of COVID-19, but we will not know. This situation is of grave concern to the estranged families of MEK members who have no way of knowing what is happening to their loved ones inside the camp.

++ The Coronavirus crisis is revealing the true nature of various opposition groups and analysts. There are many posting in social media that although the Iranian government should be criticised for its early handling of the crisis, the time has come to show humanity and halt the sanctions so as to allow the country to combat the virus. Others, led by Pompeo and the MEK, see human misery as a political opportunity for them, and are clearly aiming to inflict maximum damage on the Iranian people in the belief that they will rise up and overthrow their government. There are various levels of delusion, this must be of the worst. Iranians commenting in English (and possibly every other language in the world), are rejecting this line of thinking. It remains to be seen if the American political establishment wakes up. The MEK never will.

++ Maryam Rajavi is panicking. She has been expelled from Europe and now has her headquarters in Albania. But with the Coronavirus threatening the great and the not so great alike, she is desperate to return to the relative safety of Europe where medical support and true isolation might mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic. Rajavi had one of her UK poodle MPs raise the issue in a Commons debate on 17 March. Toby Perkins asked “The Iranian regime has taken a country rich in natural resources and cultural history to a position of poverty that is brutal to its own people. However, rather than being supportive of the moderate opposition regime in exile, the UK Government have banned Maryam Rajavi instead of welcoming her here to promote the cause of peace that could prevail in Iran. Will the Foreign Secretary take steps to ensure that Maryam Rajavi is welcomed here, so that Iran can get back to becoming the wonderful nation that it really could be?”
Dominic Raab, Secretary of State, accepted the UK has a problem with Iran, but rejected this as a solution. All over Europe, political circles have turned their backs on the MEK. Rajavi will just have to sit it out like the rest of us wherever she is.

March 20, 2020

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