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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 274

MEK and Lebanon

4++ An article by Gareth Porter, published by The Greyzone, has been translated into Farsi. Porter reveals new information about the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Argentina which was blamed on Iran. Porter shows that there is no evidence of this and that a “former infiltrator’s account provided the first clear indication that anti-Semitic veterans of Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’ and their allies in the Argentine police and intelligence service orchestrated the explosion.” At the time of “Nisman’s 2006 indictment of seven Iranian officials for the terror plot relied completely on the claims of senior members of the Mujahedin-E-Khalq (MEK), the Israeli and Saudi-backed Iranian exile cult. Not only were none of the MEK members in any position to provide reliable information about a supposedly high-level Iranian plot because they had been actively engaged in a terrorist campaign of their own against the Islamic government by helping Iraq’s then-President Saddam Hussein select targets in Iran. Mossad info, MEK sources – Resorting to bribery, to blame Iran for AMIA.”

++ Iran has arrested Jamshid Shahmahd head of the Tondar Association based in America. Tondar claims it is responsible for several terrorist operations in Iran. According to Iranian officials Shahmahd was arrested in Iran. But MEK said “no, we know he was arrested outside Iran and illegally taken to Iran”. They came up with various locations where the arrest took place, from Tajikistan to Dubai and others. In the end what MEK say is that because of this America has to attack Iran in retaliation. Farsi commentators scathingly remark about how low MEK are that on the back of anything happening anywhere they demand the US attacks Iran. Yet the US doesn’t even acknowledge them.

++ This week marked the 30th anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Some wrote about the MEK in that time. The US asked Massoud Rajavi to leave Iraq with the promise of a new base. But Rajavi decided to stay thus betraying his bigger boss. One article commenting on this is titled ’40 years of pot strategy’ This uses an Iranian proverb to say that for 40 years MEK has been waiting for someone to break the pot and spill the yoghurt so they can lick the remains from the floor. Another article uses MEK’s logo as its title: ‘Toppling at any price’. This explains how Rajavi started with this slogan and kept his word by paying any price. The writer asks, “What is the toppling for? You have been anti-imperialist and then gone along with America. Believing that the end justifies the means is your mistake.”

++ Massoud Khodabandeh wrote a note which was published by Iran’s Centre of Documentation. Khodabandeh gives a fresh analysis of Iran’s acceptance of the 1988 ceasefire of the Iran Iraq war. He explains that contrary to the accepted ‘forced surrender’ narrative, the Americans tried everything they could to prevent Ayatollah Khomeini from accepting the UN ceasefire because this would signal a defeat for Saddam Hussein. As long as Iran kept fighting, the country could be demonized. Several attacks were launched to provoke Iranian retaliation, including the shooting down of a civilian airplane. The last-ditch attempt to derail the signing was MEK’s failed Eternal Light operation. Rajavi had gone to Saudi Arabia shortly before this to take orders in person. The Iranian military defeated the MEK forces and the ceasefire was signed.

++ Over the last week MEK brought a lot of the members to their TV to swear at their families. One of these families is an elderly mother who has 3 children in MEK. She wrote answering the TV onslaught, asking her sons, “What did I say to make you all swear at me? I only asked you to talk to me. Do you expect me to abandon my children and accept they are willingly swearing at their mother for no apparent reason. If this was in the western media, wouldn’t you accuse MEK of ‘forced confessions’? Apparently, it’s OK if your puppets in Albania do it.”

++ Information leaked from inside MEK in Albania two days ago tells of a memo distributed to leading members. The memo details a changed work schedule for the Click Farm. Farsi social media accounts should be deleted, and Arabic accounts related to Lebanon created in their stead. The aim is to target the Lebanese people and convince them that Iran and Hizbollah were behind the port explosion. The click farm workers are given various Arabic hashtags and phrases to use which reinforce the message behind the posts – such as “Strike them hard and God will revive you even from death and show you his signs.” فَقُلْنَا ٱضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُحْىِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ وَيُرِيكُمْ ءَايَٰتِهِ from the Qoran.

In addition to these posts there are photoshopped images showing protestors in Beirut with anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah placards along with the images of Khamenei and Nasrollah crudely placed in some shots. BBC Persian, VOA Persian and other Persian and Arabic outlets have gone into overdrive to use these posts and photos to claim these are by genuine people. However, it is clear from examining events in Beirut that there has been some paid infiltration in the protests against Iran/Hezbollah with some arrests. At the same time, Facebook and Twitter rigorously censor posts which appear to explain the Hezbollah position in Lebanon which say that Hezbollah did not store any of its missiles at the port and do not have any governmental positions which would implicate them in anything that may have caused the explosion.

The MEK click farm in Albania is being used to put pressure on the Lebanese government to say something against Iran and Hezbollah. The problem for MEK is that the members don’t know Arabic, so the social media posts purporting to be from Lebanese citizens are written in Farsi along with the Arabic hashtags and phrases. An example is a Lebanese woman Tweeting in Farsi:

من به عنوان یک زن لبنانی ، می خواهم از همه ایرانیانی که از انقلاب ملت لبنان در برابر طبقه فاسد سیاسی حاكم بر لبنان حمايت ميكنند تشكر ميكنم، متأسفانه، این طبقه حاکم بر ملت لبنان توسط رژیم ایران پشتیبانی می شود، راه آزادى بيروت از طريق تغيير رژيم در طهران ميگزرد! #بيروت #تهران pic.twitter.com/LidXK1uZNG

— Daniella Semaan (@firstLadyD4) August 8, 2020

Daniella Semaan is a model and footballer’s wife. In Farsi she says Lebanon’s problem is Hezbollah and that they were behind the explosion. The Tweet was heavily promoted by MEK’s click farm and then BBC Persian broadcast it, claiming it has been retweeted thousands of times.

Trump sees Iran’s regime as America’s biggest enemy – and his advisers have long touted a shadowy exiled cult as an alternative to the Iranian government. @LindseyHilsum has been to their secretive camp in Albania to investigate. https://t.co/4npOdh5obE

— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) September 6, 2018

Aug 07, 2020

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