The presence of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) in Albania has increased the political and legal issues and costs for Albania. Endangering Albania’s EU membership and increasing Albania’s domestic and international strife are only part of the costs that the MEK’s presence in Albania has created for the country.
When the Americans persuaded Albania to host members of MEK, they considered several concessions in exchange for hosting it. Among these, were the privileges of the United States in European countries to help Albania release from political isolation in Europe. This has been one of the political demands of the Albanian authorities in their deals with Americans. A $ 20 million annual aid by the US was also what persuaded Albanian officials to accept the hosting. Meanwhile, slight media warnings were given to Albanian authorities about accepting a formerly designated terrorist group. It was warned that hosting MEK could be costly for Albania’s security as well as their international relations in Europe.
News from Albania indicates that the warnings are being realized in Albania, and Albania seems to be spending less money on this hosting. Albania’s priority is joining the European Union, which is crucial in Albania’s political, economic, security affairs. In order to achieve this, Albania needs an advanced, stable, and consistent image for other European countries in the economic, political and security grounds.
With the presence of a cult-like group with a long background of terror acts and violence Albania is more in the spotlight than ever before. Reports from reporters in Tirana, Albania, show that the country’s issues have been aggravated by the presence of MEK, as it has always been accused of links to criminal gangs –some of the insecurity issues was resulted by mafia groups in the past.
Reports on human rights abuses at MEK headquarters in Albania, clashes between authorities of the cult and defectors in Albanian streets, numerous complaints from dissident members inside the group have been added to the list of bad news from the country in the wake of the MEK presence in Albania.
In fact, MEK members were supposed to be received as refugees by the Albanian government which seems to be a positive step in the direction of contributing to international peace and stability. In practice, however, MEK, was received as a whole. The group set up bases to led its plot against Iran in the newly established troll farm in Manez near Tirana.
In fact, when Albania turned into a base for conspiracy against the Islamic Republic by the presence of MEK, it will naturally have Iran’s reaction, which will in general have negative consequences for Tirana. In general, it can be concluded that in exchange for hosting members of this terrorist group, Albania was going to isolate itself in Europe and because of the cult-like and violent activities of the Cult of Rajavi, it has been on a path that has been steadily distancing itself from its demands.
The recent action taken by the Albanian government to grant ID cards to individuals inhabiting in Albanian territory including former members of MEK, is a step forward to join the European Union. The next step should be the abolition of modern slavery in the MEK’s headquarters in north of Tirana.