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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 299

Mike Pence Hates Iranians

++ Mohammad Karami in Paris, former MEK member and human rights campaigner, published an article focusing on several MEK witnesses in the Swedish court case. Karami points out that these witnesses have claimed various things under oath. He then introduces them with photos and documents, as having worked for Saddam Hussein, carried out terrorist acts inside Iran and sworn pledges of unconditional total devotion to Rajavi while renouncing their own ‘self’. The documents are taken from the MEK themselves. Karami concludes, ‘if this does not prove that this court case is ridiculous, what will?’ On same subject, Hamed Sarafpour, an ex-member who writes analytical articles about the MEK, has written a piece on the court case. He begins by questioning, what is the reason they have watered down other witnesses like Mesdaghi and made the MEK witnesses so important. At first glance it could be said that because there are more of them this has been done to annoy Iran. Then as they move the witness list to Albania, and we look deeper, it becomes clear that it’s not about the case, it’s about rescuing Maryam Rajavi since the MEK cult is rapidly declining. Sarafpour points out that these witnesses never had a job, never paid a penny in tax, all have pledged lifelong, unconditional devotion to the leader and every one of them have been lying and deceiving for years. The Swedish case is being pursued to rescue Maryam Rajavi. But the problem is that by doing this, they have destroyed the credibility of the case. In the end, Iran is the winner. The losers are those who might have had a genuine grievance. They will never be able to get justice after this. Whoever pushed this behind the scenes has done a service to Iran in the long term and a disservice to those who actually had a case.

++ This week there was a cyber-attack on petrol stations in Iran which disrupted supplies for around half a day. For the next week the MEK claimed it as a victory as though they had done it. Some people comment that even if they haven’t done it, they should be given the credit because ‘if they could have, they would have’. This is the kind of people they are. The name of the attackers matches what they are: the killer sparrows.

++ Mehdi Khoshhal wrote about MEK acolyte Parviz Khazai in Norway. For the last three decades Khazai has said whatever the MEK ask him to with the pitch: ‘In Norway during the Second World war they executed traitors. So, therefore the MEK should execute the ex-members as traitors’. He gets paid to write this every time. Khoshhal has commented about Khazai himself. Before the 1979 Revolution, he was working in the Scandinavian embassy for the Shah. After the Revolution he stayed at the embassy and convinced the new government he would work for them. However, because he is a corrupt person, they wanted to dismiss him. This corruption included selling blank passports. When he was pushed out he took a lot of passports and documents from the embassy with him and took them to Rajavi, asking ‘how much?’ Rajavi appointed him his representative in Scandinavia. Khoshhal makes a second point: the ex MEK members that he is talking about executing are those who joined the MEK when the life expectancy for an MEK activist was around six months. They joined wanting nothing and giving everything. ‘Do you think’ asks Khoshhal, ‘that they are worried about execution?!’

++ In Albania, in the total silence of Rajavi and all the MEK sites and YouTube and Twitter etc, Ehsan Bidi has gone back to normal life. This week he celebrated his birthday with his friends – the former members. In a short interview he said, “I could not have resisted if it wasn’t for support of the families and these friends. I had the idea that this is not about me, it was about rescuing everybody.”

In Germany, Zeit Magazin published an interview by Lusia Hommerich with Amin Golmaryami, a former MEK child soldier. Golmaryami was a child of MEK parents who fled to Iraq after the Revolution. He was smuggled into Germany along with at least 40 other children in the early 1990s as Massoud Rajavi separated families to gain greater control over the cult members. Golmaryami had his brothers were exploited for social security fraud in Germany before being deceived into travelling to Iraq. Once in Iraq he was trapped and unable to leave until the MEK was transferred to Albania in 2013 and he could finally make his way back to Germany. In the interview, which spanned five meetings, Hommerich skilfully teases out the heartbreaking details of Golmaryami’s life under MEK control and his struggle to recover and pursue a normal, fulfilled life with his partner and new baby.

In English:

++ Massoud Khodabandeh wrote a piece on the MEK’s celebration of Maryam Rajavi’s three-decade long stint as ‘president-elect’, pointing out the irony that not a single election has been held sine to affirm or reject her in this role. Khodabandeh explains the way and the reason why this role was constructed by Massoud Rajavi in the early 1990s. The aim, for Massoud Rajavi, was to regain political support lost when he remained under Saddam’s protection during the First Gulf war. According to Khodabandeh, Maryam did not have the intelligence or political capabilities to undertake this work and instead tried to push her ‘feminist’ agenda among western women. Her main focus was on recruiting Iranian refugees to swell her audience. Essentially, Maryam Rajavi has based her career on performance and shows, with nothing concrete to show for her efforts or the vast sums of money spent.

++ Tasnim News in Iran reported on the use of terrorists as witnesses as Iran rejects the UN Human Rights Rapporteur’s report on Iran. “Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi delivered a speech to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly focusing on “item 74: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” During her speech, Ershadi said, “We regret that one of the main sources of the Special Rapporteur continues to be the same terrorist groups which have long been laundered by their supporters and portrayed as opposition and so-called human rights defenders. Making use of unofficial, biased vague sources coming from sworn enemies, and taking a selective approach towards human rights achievements in the Islamic Republic of Iran put a serious question mark over the validity and reliability of such a report. It is repugnant to glorify terrorists whose hands are stained with the blood of innocent citizens.”

++ Several outlets reported on Mike Pence’s collaboration with the MEK. Daniel Larison, writing in the Anti War Blog, said “The willingness of so many prominent politicians and ex-officials to embrace such a group reflects how warped and toxic the debate over Iran policy is in this country.” He adds, “Any former official or retired officer that throws in with the MEK proves beyond any doubt that he hates the Iranian people and wants to cause them harm. In Pence’s case, we already knew that from the policies he supported in Congress and as Vice President, but it is useful to have it confirmed.”

++ Nejat Society in Iran has published Part One of a series of stories about nine women under the rule of Massoud Rajavi. Maryam Sanjabi, herself a former MEK member, writes about nine specific women who escaped the cult after it was relocated to Albania. She says, ‘the stories of some of these women were more complicated. The first part features the stories of four of these women.

Nov 05, 2021

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