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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 2

++ A campaign that took root and grew among MEK supporters over the past few weeks asked for Massoud Rajavi to co-operate with the UN process to evacuate camp Liberty. The main figures in this campaign were sisters Effat and Atefeh Eghbal who started an online petition. The MEK reaction was to bring their brother Mohammad in Camp Liberty, a former publisher who is an old man now, to openly swear at his sisters in the MEK media. This only increased the criticism within the MEK against Rajavi as many denounced this reaction by the MEK against their own members and supporters who have genuine questions and concerns about what the MEK is doing. Members and supporters like Ali Naazer or the poet Ismael Yaghma’i and others have become vocal, asking “are we not allowed to talk?”

++ In a new development last week, Iraj Mesdaaghi, who has worked in support of the MEK for many years in Europe, published a 230 page open letter to Massoud Rajavi. He asks Rajavi to address this issue of internal dissatisfaction. He has gone into detail about many specific reactions Rajavi has had against current members as well as ex-members like Batul Soltani, Zahra Mir Bagheri and Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad. Rajavi has threatened current members that he has embarrassing information about them and will expose them. Although this 230 page letter falls short of understanding a cult leader, and is still written by someone who is trying to save the soul of Rajavi, but it represents a significant development as the dissent from within is expanding.

After this letter, Rajavi issued a statement in name of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). After swearing at Mesdaaghi and linking him with the ‘agents of the Iranian regime’, Rajavi has banned every member from talking to any media or site which has made any criticism of him (he means independent mainstream media such as the BBC). It is clear to everyone that Rajavi wants to cut such people off and stop the spread of the ‘disease’ of dissent which is already rampant in the MEK and has got out of his control.

++ The equivalent of Mesdaaghi in the United States is Seyyed Hassan Daioleslam who has not arrived at this point of dissent yet, and is still wholeheartedly being used by the Israeli lobby against the anti-war people in Washington. An article by M.J. Rosenberg in the Washington Spectator describes how in a defamation challenge Daioleslam failed to produce even a shred of evidence that the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) had been the lobby of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The article highlighted the fact that Daioleslam was pay rolled by Daniel Pipes and other leading neoconservatives. The article concludes, “Not a good day for the pro-war lobby, but a very good one for Americans who find the idea of being embroiled in a third Middle East war – so soon after Iraq and with our troops still in Afghanistan – utterly appalling”.

++ Sahar Family Foundation in Baghdad published in English an important document about the current situation at Camp Liberty. The article goes into some detail describing the MEK’s obstructive behaviour toward the UN officials and the human rights abuses inflicted on the residents. The article points out that the families of the residents have the right to contact with their loved ones, but are prevented by Massoud Rajavi who calls the family the “nest of corruption” and the “worst enemy” and a “devastating bomb”. The cult leader is afraid because reconnecting with their emotional attachment to their family will lead his followers to reject their cult indoctrination and leave.

The article concludes “…at the present time there are many family members stationed in Iraq who wish to visit their loved ones no matter what the cost might be. They insist that they must be allowed to enter the camp and search for their loved ones for themselves. So far, for security reasons, the Iraqi authorities have not allowed this. They say that they cannot guarantee the safety of the families once they enter the camp. The families insist on their right to enter the camp voluntarily while accepting full responsibility for their actions in order to rescue their loved ones.

As far as we are concerned there is no other peaceful solution. It is quite obvious that Rajavi wants to drag the matter into violence and provoke further clashes in order to gain political advantages. We believe that the way everyone has tried to tiptoe around or hammer on this locked gate so far will not work at all. If there is any intention to resolve this severe humanitarian problem there should be a change of policy now; put the families first.”

++ Some ex-members have written to the UN asking for help for the people trapped in Camp Liberty. They demand that the UN does not accept Rajavi as representatives of the residents. Talking to the leaders they say will not help rescue anyone. They need to be taken as individuals.

++ Recently escaped Camp Liberty residents are reporting that Rajavi’s latest message is what he calls ‘fighting viruses inside the Mojahedin’. He calls people’s desire to leave Liberty the ‘virus of the third country’. This includes even looking at an aeroplane; you must control your gaze so as not to observe such a thing. He calls the desire of Liberty residents for the Iranian opposition to make progress against the Islamic Republic ‘the green virus’. They must also guard against this because this is against the benefit of the MEK.

++ Reports of MEK fighters working in Syria with the rebels has received quite a bit of coverage. Some reports speculate that the MEK fighters may have been involved in chemical attacks as they were trained to do this by Saddam.

Many people have commented that the presence of the MEK in Syria is not the wish of the Syrian opposition, this is Rajavi’s need. He (or rather his backers) has forced them to accept MEK involvement as a matter of survival so Rajavi can claim he is actually doing something. A leading example is an article by Reza Taghizadeh who writes his analysis about the report of the MEK being active in Syria. The title is: ‘Confrontation between the MEK and the Islamic Republic in Syria?’ At the end of his article, he comments on the daftness of this situation and reminds us that Rajavi with the backing of Saddam’s full army launched operation Forough Javidan (Eternal Light) in 1988 which ended with the massacre of around a third of his forces. Now with a fraction of those numbers and those mostly of pension age it is ridiculous to see them as a fighting force wherever they are.

++ In the last few weeks the MEK have been trying to dismiss all their problems by diverting the attention of their own people and outsiders to the opening of their office in Washington. Under this false pretence they are telling their people that the opening of the office is a sign that the US and Israel will attack Iran any time soon, and both the Iranian and Iraqi governments will collapse in the next few weeks. The message is ‘shut up and wait, let’s delay the transfer from Liberty and buy time until Iran, Iraq and Syria are handed over to the MEK’.

++ A big international book exhibition in Iran, attended by people from all over the world, included a joint stall for both the families of victims of MEK terrorism and ex-members in Iran. Mr. Ali Moradi and Mrs. Maryam Sanjabi were two of the well known ex members who were interviewed by media and also explained to the people attending about the current situation in Camp Liberty.

Friday 10 May 2013

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