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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 283

MEK Encumbers Vienna Talks

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++ There has been a lot of comment in Farsi from inside and outside Iran about Facebook blocking 300 MEK accounts. Outside Iran a London Kayhan article and inside Iran an article by Ebrahim Khodabandeh for Nejat point out that this 300 is just the tip of the iceberg as far as MEK accounts go. Some comments talk about MEK operatives posing as young girls. Some point out the illegal things MEK do online – teaching bombmaking etc. Some refer back to Trump using the Albanian troll farm during the US election. In spite of all this, Facebook hasn’t actually stopped them. Commentary demands that the MEK must be closed. The MEK issued a statement on the NCRI website claiming that this has been a plot by the Iranian regime. However, some ex-members go into detail about their work in the MEK troll farms in Iraq and Albania. They refute MEK’s version with personal testimony and photos of the troll farm.

++ In Iran in the last two weeks online discussions have been held from Yazd with a variety of ministries and Ebrahim Khodabandeh from Nejat. The theme of the discussions was about the future interference by MEK in the election; what they might do. The summary was published this week by Nejat. This goes into bullet point detail about what the MEK have done in every previous election – infiltration, stoking unrest, paying people, advertisements, stopping people voting, fabricating photoshopped pictures, etc. The summary concludes that MEK are at their weakest point ever but are doing still doing what they have tried and failed in before.

++ Every week a few people die in Albania. This week Reza Qoreshi died – one of the known people in MEK. As usual MEK say he was a martyr. Some former members who knew him reacted. They say their memories of him are of a man stuck there saying ‘I have nowhere to go’. One writer recounted that when he escaped MEK, Qoreshi was a prison guard but was nice to him. He wrote, “when I left he wished me luck and said go, and don’t look back. I have got stuck here”. From the UK, Adel Azami wrote a piece titled with a line from a Hafez poem; ‘Those who didn’t escape this dark night’. Azami explains how Qoreshi felt being trapped and recounted that he would openly say that he’d got stuck in MEK.

++ The Islamic Revolution Documents Center published an article called ‘The Embassies War’. The piece was prompted by a question sent to them asking from a historical point of view about the time that MEK attacked Iranian embassies across Europe and North America and what that was about. Dr Javad Mansouri a retired ambassador from that time and Massoud Khodabandeh retired member of the NCRI (LOL) contributed. They explained this history as Massoud Khodabandeh was part of the team who occupied the Iranian embassy in London in the early 1980s. To answer the question, he explained that the main reason for the attacks was to create news so that Massoud Rajavi could ride on it and have interviews. A by-product was that it helped MEK to recruit Iranian refugees and emigres who were prepared to use violence with the promise of toppling the regime in a few weeks or months. Dr Mansouri explained that when MEK attacked these Iranian embassies there was a backlash. The Europeans woke up to the reality that the violent group they are supporting could and did easily undertake violent activities in their backyard as well. This awakening forced MEK stop doing such activities openly in Europe and North America and revert to covert activity.

In English:

++ Global Research published an opinion piece by Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh titled ‘US Iran Talks Undermined by MEK Presence’. The piece looks at the talks in Vienna between signatories of the JCPOA, and the side efforts to start dialogue between Iran and the US. In spite of warnings by the Iranians that MEK would try to derail these efforts, not enough attention was paid to this rogue group. While the US cannot govern Israeli or Saudi responses to the talks, Biden could make a small gesture of goodwill to the Iranians by dealing with the MEK. That his administration does not do this is a signal that he either can’t or doesn’t want to dismantle the MEK, and therefore progress in the talks may stall even over such a small issue.

++ Mehr News Agency reported that “The Secretary of Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Headquarters took to Twitter to criticize the impunity of MKO terrorist group in Germany, noting that terrorist laundering is Berlin’s human rights strategy.”

++ AP, Alice Taylor for Exit, Ebrahim Khodabandeh for Nejat and others wrote about Facebook removing 300 MEK accounts. They pointed out that this has been ongoing and characterised by fake identities, fake news and fake narratives aimed at perverting western foreign policy toward Iran.

++ Mazda Parsi examines the influence of cults and how the MEK has used cultic abuse to enthral and exploit people to pursue its anti-Iran agenda. Parsi particularly looks at how cult leaders break the bonds between the cult victim and their family. The piece focuses on individual victims such as Rahim Kayukan, trapped in Albania, and his daughter Leila Kayukan who escaped the clutches of the MEK, revealing how MEK operate to create misinformation and defamatory narratives to attack families.

++ Jack Turner in Geopolitica writes that Massoud Rajavi’s son, who he names Mohammad, has sued the MEK and filed a lawsuit against the group because of the abuse he has been subjected to by them. This is in spite of his being the son of the leader and having no interest in the politics of the MEK. Refusing to promote the MEK is enough to condemn anyone as an enemy.

++ The Tehran Times reported that a series of films are to be made on “war hero General Ali Sayyad Shirazi”. The report reminds readers that Shirazi was assassinated by MEK in 1999 by the order of Saddam Hussein.

++ Nejat Society continues its campaign for families to be able to contact their loved ones in MEK. The families have written a letter to the World Health Organisation expressing concern for the residents in the slave camp in Albania because of the COVID-19 outbreak there, and asking for WHO help to contact them.

Apr 16, 2021

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