America’s failure to bully Iran into submission in Vienna during the JCPOA talks has enraged the Israeli government, which is now threatening some kind of biblical annihilation in revenge. A futile threat. Instead, small grubby gesture politics has had to suffice. One of the anti-Iran coalition’s more irrational beliefs is that if it shakes the stick labelled ‘the MEK’ at Iran, the Iranian leaders will lose their minds and cave in to all kinds of demands. Thus we discover that the MEK’s de facto leader, Maryam Rajavi, was chosen as the face of this gesture politics when she was sent to Paris last week to visit a church – the kind of move which appears inspired by the need to annoy Iran. Rajavi, of course, was deported from the EU in 2018 and has not been allowed back in until now. And now, the anti-Iran coalition has presumably put enough pressure on the French government to partake in a charade that suits the Israelis’ and Rajavi’s agendas.
Rajavi has her own reasons to partake in this show. Always ready to prostrate herself in the service of empty gestures and symbolic acts if it gives her the kind of publicity that proves to the MEK members that she has the support of the west, Rajavi would have no hesitation in paying a smirking visit to a church at Christmas. Since her deportation Rajavi has been desperate to find a way to get back into the EU. What she doesn’t understand is that smirking in a church does not equate to political leadership or an actual policy move.
At the start of December, we revealed that Maryam Rajavi had pretended to her Farsi speaking audience – such as it is – that she had visited the French Senate to make a speech. This was a lie. She tried to pretend in her Farsi sites that she had actually been there, but the English sites could not disguise the fact that she had addressed the rally from Albania.
This time Rajavi was allowed into France only to visit the church (not Paris), and then return to Albania. It doesn’t matter, however, that she shows her face. What is important is that she is not allowed to remain or work in the EU. She cannot undertake any activity there which might be construed as political. Her appearance in a church in Paris is a purely face-saving exercise. A show of weakness not of strength.
Another example of the push back against the MEK is the sudden reappearance of a damning article in the Albanian media outlet EXIT. On 4th December, the article reported that two high ranking MEK members had been arrested in Albania on charges of human and drug trafficking. However, the article was quickly removed from the site giving an Error 404 notice. Apparently the MEK don’t like having their crimes exposed. At that time, Iran-Interlink wrote that the MEK’s mafia like behaviour in Albania dates back to its arrival in that country. Intimidation and bribery of media owners and editors was not new. Indeed, the MEK have a pattern of criminality that encompasses not only the media but includes the police, security services, judiciary and politicians from all parties.
However, it appears that this message has got through to the right people in the country. The EXIT article has been restored. Some honest, patriotic elements in the Albanian establishment have gained control and the MEK and its mafia collaborators are being pushed further and further back. Perhaps it’s only a matter of months until the organisation finally collapses like a hollow chocolate Christmas confection.