++ During the run up to Iran’s presidential election, Massoud Khodabandeh, Sarah Zahiri an Iranian historian in Canada and Vahid Farkhondeh a journalist in Switzerland took part in a discussion. They talked about the position of western countries which have been trying to stop people voting. Khodabandeh said that never have so many countries poured so much money and energy into opposing an election in foreign country: Iran. Although the collapse of the Reformists in Iran and the rise of the Principlists is mostly down to the Reformists putting their trust the Americans, the US is to blame for this shift. The Americans tried to convince the Iranian population in Iran to trust them, but then they assassinated the host (Muhandis) and guest (Soleimani) in Iraq. They tore up the JCPOA and spat on it. The result is anti-Western sentiment which the Americans have created themselves. During the discussion, Khodabandeh pointed out that the MEK are finished. In the 1980s they had a military presence. Now they have only an online presence. Soon they will all end up in Albania behind a computer.
++ Before the MEK supporters do end up online, a handful of them rallied outside Iranian embassies in various cities to ‘intimidate’ Iranians wishing to vote in the presidential election. One voter related via Twitter how shocked and disgusted she was at the base and uncouth language used by the MEK folk, swearing and shouting as she passed them by.
++ Several people wrote about the issuing of ID cards in Albania. This was seen as a sign that Albania is working hard to join the EU. This is a good sign, but commentators point out that this won’t happen while the MEK are given a free hand there. Anne Khodabandeh and others received a reply to letter sent to EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson about the MEK, saying the EU’s External Action Division has taken note of the MEK problem.
++ Speaking of Albania, two issues which do not directly mention the MEK are however linked to its presence in that country. Firstly, the US has sanctioned the former Albanian leader Sali Berisha over corruption. Berisha presided over the transfer of MEK from Iraq to Albania after 2013. Once in Albania, Berisha found a lucrative role in advocating for Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. His downfall reminds us of the ‘Rajavi Curse’. All political persons and groups make alliances, some work out well, some work out badly. It is well known linking themselves to the Rajavis will always work out badly for everyone. From Robin Corbett (UK MP) who had to write denying he took money from the MEK shortly before his death. To Struan Stevenson, Paulo Casaca and Alejo Vidal-Quadras who abandoned their roles as MEPs after the taint of Maryam Rajavi touched them. Of course, John Bolton, Rudi Giuliani and others in the US will be forever known as shills for the terrorist MEK. In Albania, former deputy anti-trafficking coordinator Elona Gjebrea, who fawned upon supreme slave owner Maryam Rajavi, was later linked to a mafia family. Ooops. Now Sali Berisha is added to the long list of unfortunates touched by the Rajavi Curse. Days ago, Edi Rama’s government which is notoriously corrupt itself, has impeached President Ilir Meta. It seems the Rajavi Curse is still toxifying all it touches.
++ Secondly, a report by Al Jazeera on the brain drain from Albania identifies corruption as a factor in why the society and economy does not grow and develop. Businesses are hampered by insecurity and lack of government support. Clearly joining the EU is not possible while corruption is so rampant. While in the past, migration from Albania was linked with low skilled workers, now young people feel the only way to use their skills and talents is to leave the country. Whether you regard the MEK as a foreign terrorist group advocating violent regime change, or a cult which practices modern slavery, the corruption which allows this entity to interfere in the security and foreign policy of the country on behalf of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, is not going to help the country progress, nor win favour with the EU.
Jun 18, 2021