Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 286

Rajavi And Presidential Election

++ For the past two weeks, the MEK’s Farsi sites have all been directed at the election in Iran. The aim of the messaging is to bring the number of voters down. To that end there is nothing they will not do or say; lies, misinformation, exaggeration, fake news. Over the past few days the MEK has begun threatening and cursing people who might vote, especially Iranians living outside the country. The message is that we are watching the embassies and if we see you there to vote, we will get retribution. Many commentators point out that this behaviour is what MEK have always done – intimidation and violence. They pretend to be democratic but have operated for decades with an unelected leader and a so-called president-elect. What is clear is that as a mercenary force, MEK are paid to do this.

++ The second aim in the last two weeks has been to stop people criticising MEK. This has been directed at the members’ families and ex-members – a campaign of cursing and now threatening violence against ex-members to stop them talking. Former MEK member Ghorban Ali Hussein Nejad wrote a note on Facebook saying ‘MEK, you don’t make sense. It is now over one and a half years that I have given up talking about you. But still you have been plotting against me, trying to ruin my life. That shows that what you say is not true. Even when I stop talking, you don’t stop targeting me.’ Other commentators point to the irony of western governments who, even after years of MEK killing members and former members, still don’t take the threat seriously. What is the difference then between Europe and Saddam’s Iraq, they ask. Maybe they are following the same line: if you leave MEK it is safer for you to live in Iran than in the EU or North America.

++ As part of its election broadcasting, Iran TV had a programme about people who have registered for candidacy with the knowledge they will not be ratified. These are people who don’t accept the constitution – they want regime change – but register as a candidate. The programme pointed out that the very constitution they reject bars them from candidacy and there is an element of duplicity and deceit in their registration. As an example, the programme said the first person to do this was Massoud Rajavi who didn’t accept the post-Revolution constitution but wanted to be the president. Ayatollah Khomeini was quoted, who described Rajavi’s act as deceptive. Rajavi was, of course, rejected. In the same way, the current wannabe candidates are also being deceptive. Ironically, the MEK are delighted that the Iranian media has broadcast something about Massoud Rajavi. The Iran Efshahgar ‘attack site’ has happily mentioned this programme simply because it mentions Rajavi.

++ Everyone has commented on the situation of the Palestinians and Israel, saying ‘if there was any doubt that MEK was working for Israel there is no doubt now. MEK have remained silent, waiting for instruction what to say. They can’t even say anything for internal purposes because they have members who are not against Palestinians – remember the MEK trained with the PLO before the Revolution – but because the MEK get money from Israel they can’t say anything.

In English:

++ Nejat Society reported from Albania where former MEK members have benefitted from the vaccine programme. They enjoy the same healthcare as Albanian citizens. Two vaccine recipients denounced the MEK leaders who “do not want to see them happy and healthy”. Gjergjy Thanasi, an Albanian Christian, had handed out red-dyed Easter eggs – symbolic of Christ’s blood and a reminder of the days when communism snuffed out religious freedom in that country. The former members are also now free from the dictates of the Rajavi cult and live “inspired by their own free will and their own decisions… They are not forced to confess any of their thoughts and deeds to the commanders anymore.”

++ Anne Khodabandeh looked at the developments in the Vienna talks and wondered whether the US, in spite of saying Iran is not serious, is itself not serious about re-joining the JCPOA. The path is clear: the US must credibly lift sanctions and Iran will scale back its nuclear enrichment to agreed levels. But the US position, according to Khodabandeh, has been complicated by the inexplicable tolerance of the MEK and the Israeli sabotage and provocation activities. Khodabandeh concludes that although the US cannot control Israeli behaviour, it is possible to dismantle the MEK in Albania as had been agreed in 2016 as a goodwill gesture to Iran.

++ Nejat Bloggers published a short piece exposing the hypocrisy of the MEK leaders who have enjoyed luxuries and comfort over the years while the ordinary members have suffered hardship and deprivation. According to one former member, at one time “under the pretext of financial problems, [MEK leaders] forced the members to grow a plant called “Mallow” in the Camp Ashraf in order to provide at least one meal per day.”

++ Iran’s Mehr News reported on the MEK picket in Vienna. The MEK protestors threatened and insulted Iran’s delegation “while intensive negotiations continue between Iran and P4+1 to reach an agreement on the full revival of JCPOA and the lifting of oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic”. The report said the MEK’s demand is to halt the nuclear talks and cancel the JCPOA completely. They are “quite noticeably being coordinated by the elements affiliated with the Iran International TV… One of them even clashed with police”.

May 14, 2021

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