Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 267

++ Faragh Association in Iran has published a timely in-depth and very interesting piece about the misinformation and lies propagated by MEK. The piece identifies posts by MEK which claim that various Iranian leaders – the Minister of Health, or religious leaders in Qom – have said certain things, none of which are true, they have been made up by MEK. These persons have not even bothered to refute the lies; the MEK are irrelevant. On the same issue, Sputnik Farsi published an article referring to some of these things MEK are claiming, placing them alongside Pompeo’s pronouncements and social media blocking of every account except the MEK and such like. This paints a picture of a cohort coming together for a misinformation and demonisation campaign against Iran of which MEK are part. For Sputnik this begs the question, is it just about keeping themselves happy? Iranians inside Iran don’t buy it. Why are they doing it? On the same subject, some opposition leaders have complained that the amount of lies issued by Pompeo and MEK has created a situation in which nobody believes the truth either and Iran is benefitting from this situation by asserting that everything the west says about Iran is a lie. And we oppositionists can’t refute that because nobody believes anything we say anymore. In particular, they say, is all the MEK stuff about Coronavirus. Exaggerating that a million people have died. It’s not feasible, no one can believe that.

++ A so-called spokesman for MEK who has no name, alongside Massoud Rajavi – God knows where he is – have issued messages claiming that Coronavirus has been created by the mullahs to destroy the country. “We ask soldiers to desert and take sanctuary with us and bring your guns with you.” Commentators say that MEK has gone mad, that this is the height of madness. The army is helping people! From one side MEK say the army is there to kill people and on the other side you say desert and bring your guns with you. Why? Where? To Albania? Some comments remind us that these are the same people who ran to Saddam, then ran to MBS, who will do anything for some money. No sane person will take them seriously say Farsi commentators, but they feel sorry for the captive members. One comment quoted a poem by Saadi which reads ‘if you throw a stone at a dog, it gets excited thinking it’s a bone. If two people are carrying a body to the cemetery for a burial, the opportunist thinks they have brought him a meal’. That’s the story of MEK from forty years ago until now.

++ There is disturbing news emerging from inside the MEK camp in Albania which will be written about in detail later. The MEK leaders have blocked every form of access to medical care and hospital visits have been cancelled. There are reports that some people have gone missing. Everyone inside is worried about the virus and that they are getting no help. The Families are trying to get help from the Albanian authorities, saying this is not acceptable.

In English:

++ Murteza Hussain and Matthew Cole wrote two pieces for The Intercept concerning the MEK. In one, they spoke with former MEK members who detailed the gross human rights abuses they suffered inside MEK. The women were especially courageous in talking about the Rajavi’s sexual exploitation of female members as this is a taboo subject for most women. “Around 1998, an even more chilling directive came down from Rajavi to the female members of the organization. ‘I see some obstacles which have prevented us from reaching our goals and achieving victory’, Rajavi told members of the group, Sultani recalled. ‘That obstacle is hope for the future. We want to eliminate any kind of hope for the future from your mind. You are either with us or not!’
“Sterilization would be a means of focusing the women’s minds. ‘They said that this organ of the body, the womb, has made women want to be mothers someday and return to domestic life’, Sultani said. ‘And so, visits with women began, to get them to go in groups of 20 or 30 to have a hysterectomy.’”

++ The second piece ‘Leaked Intelligence Cables Detail a Secret Propaganda War Between Iranian Spies and Exiled Militant Group’ describes efforts by Iran’s intelligence services to counter the MEK’s long-term propaganda campaign against Iran. This reveals that the MEK has been reduced from its former claims to be able to effect regime change, backed by high-profile right-wing Americans to a group that now randomly asks people to post graffiti on walls. “An intelligence ministry officer in the Western city of Khorramabad claimed to have seen online messages from the group trying to recruit supporters in that city and ordering them to ‘write slogans and graffiti on the walls and make videos of these to share’.”

++ Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh published an article in The Balkans Post describing how the response of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the MEK have left them isolated in foreign policy and opposition circles. While realistic people the world over are looking for ways for countries and populations to work together to combat the global scourge of Coronavirus, “since the EU curtailed its activities there, the MEK has manipulated itself into a cosy symbiotic relationship with the U.S. Secretary of State. MEK social media combatants and its prolific websites echo Pompeo’s extremist anti-Iran statements and stances. In return, Pompeo references the MEK’s misinformation and propaganda in his speeches… At a time when the WHO urged self-isolation and social distancing to prevent the virus’ spread, the MEK leaders, giddy with the false hope of regime change, urged Iranians to come into the streets and attack the police. Such reckless and futile statements in the name of regime change will not be forgotten or forgiven by Iranians. Nor will the MEK positioning itself alongside the country’s most virulent enemy, the U.S., at its time of greatest need be forgotten or forgiven.”

April 03, 2020

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