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Iran-Interlink Weekly Digest- 6

++ In a Press Statement, US State Department spokesperson Jan Psaki welcomed the transfer of 30 more Camp Liberty residents to Albania and asked the MEK to cooperate with UNAMI and ICRI interviewers. The statement said, “The United States reaffirms its strong support for the work of UNHCR, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and especially the tireless work of UNAMI Special Representative of the Secretary General Martin Kobler, to assist and resettle Camp Hurriya (aka Liberty) residents”.

++ The MEK have written a letter advising the DoS not to listen to the lies of Martin Kobler and the ICRC because they are agents of the Iranian regime. Commentators have called this a desperate attempt to hide the daily human rights abuses in the camp and delay the release of these hostages. Furthermore, although the US has been instrumental in saving the cult from collapsing from within, and has paid a high price for tarnishing its reputation in this way, at the end of the day the MEK have not been, and will not be, more than a mercenary force whose value cannot rise more than a certain level, and the US cannot expect to have to fight with the UN and ICRC because of them.

++ Sahar Family Association addressed an open letter to Martin Kobler to raise some issues and questions along with some propositions and demands including restoration of contact with the outside world and in particular their families.

++ This week, Mardom TV in Washington had live interviews with two ex-members, Homayoun Kohzadih and Hamid Reza Salmani in France, who explained at length the situation of the MEK who have come to Albania and with whom they have been in regular contact. They also discussed the MEK’s lobbying office in Washington, linking it with the deception surrounding the MEK’s annual celebration of violence and armed struggle on 22 June in Paris.

++ Ex-MEK members were contacted by the new arrivals in Albania. They report that the MEK have dispatched commanders to Albania from Paris headed by Hassan Nayeb Agha, and another, to monitor them and try to pacify them so they don’t run away from the MEK. Except the few known MEK agents among these 30 people from Liberty, the others have not welcomed these two from Paris and have mostly rejected the food and money they brought for them. In this respect Iran Ghalam Association in Germany has urged their families to introduce themselves to international organisations like the UN and ICRC and ask to be connected to their loved ones so they can provide help and support before they become desperate and get misused again by the MEK.

++ Among the 30 new transferees there are three women and Mr Mohammad Eghbal, whose sisters, Atefeh and Eghbat, MEK sympathisers, started a campaign asking the MEK to help people leave Iraq.

++ Long term MEK member Esmail Yaghmai – now married and living in London – demands to know if the mother of his son, Ms Akram Habib Khani, is dead or alive. The MEK responded by swearing at him and calling him an ‘agent of Iranian Ministry of Intelligence’. Many people responded to this on social media with comments and articles saying how disgusted they are with the reaction of Rajavi and the NCRI. On his weblog and in Facebook Yaghmai has said ‘whenever anyone criticises the MEK you bring a member of their family to swear at them, but this time we don’t see her swearing at us. Does this mean she is dead?’ Yaghmai addresses his former wife directly saying, ‘we don’t care what you say against us, but if you can, ask the MEK to allow you to curse us so at least we know you are alive’.

++ A delegation of Faryad-e Azadi Association in Paris – ex members – attended a UNESCO conference in Paris and networked.

++ Mina Assadi, a well known opposition figure, published a short article on her site criticising the MEK and especially the non-Mojahedin members of the NCRI for swearing at Iraj Mesdaghi and using threats and intimidation tactics against people.

++The Iranian government claims it has captured what it calls a “spy ring” working for Israel and Britain which had planned to carry out “sabotage and assassinations” to undermine the impending national elections in the country. Western diplomatic sources maintained the arrests had been stage-managed ahead of the polls for the presidency on 14 June.

++ In an interview for Iran Zanan, Mrs Mir Bagheri describes Rajavi’s desperation and how he has now started sending public audio messages to Iran’s presidential candidates and the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She reminds us that this is the man who, up to a few years ago was fond of saying that a snake will never give birth to a dove, and who, when he went to Iraq, he gave a deadline of six months to topple the regime, but who ever since has had to extend the deadline for yet another six months.

++ An article in French newspaper Figaro says MEK mercenaries are being used in Syria and has quoted an MEP saying there is clear evidence the MEK are working alongside terrorists in Syria and that two of its members were killed two months ago in Allepo in west Syria.

++ There have been many articles exposing Maryam Rajavi’s anniversary celebration of armed struggle in Paris on 22 June. The MEK are trying to buy refugees from any country; Middle East, Asia, Africa, etc. Rajavi has ordered that by whatever means and with an open budget, every association linked to the MEK should bring 1000 people or more – money is not a problem. She has said that ‘the only way we can save Ashraf and take our forces back there is by putting on a good show’.

++ Mehdi Nikbakht from Iran Qalam in Germany has referenced the MEK’s US lobbying office alongside documents detailing the MEK’s murder of Americans and their celebration of 9/11. He points out that the MEK have never said anything against Saddam in all these years, and that they are still part and parcel of the Saddamists. Nikbakht says that lobbying might work to convince those Americans who don’t care about their soldiers being killed, but Iranians and Iraqis know better.

++ On the subject of the Paris gathering, Mohammad Razaghi has published an article explaining how the MEK spend hundreds of dollars to bring lobbyists to praise Maryam Rajavi, but that it has been a long time since they stopped trying to pretend to Iranians. He reminds Rajavi that ‘your money may be used by American lobbyists but your fate is coming nearer every day as the hostages are transferred to third countries like Albania’.

Edvard Termador from Avaa Association published an article entitled ’20th June 1981, start of deadlock in MEK’s struggle’. He explains how the MEK started going wrong and getting weaker and weaker and becoming more and more irrelevant after staging a failed coup d’etat and taking up arms. After that the MEK became cult and joined with the Americans and Israel against Iran.

++ Iran Setaregan in Switzerland has also commented on Rajavi’s annual show in Paris as a celebration of the start of terrorism. It says it is difficult to distinguish between Rajavi paying the likes of John Bolton and Rudi Giuliani as lobbyists from one point of view, while seeing Maryam Rajavi act like a jester or clown to amuse the Israeli lobby in Washington.

++ Mr Ali Jahani has written an open letter to the retired general Phillips, an MEK lobbyist, and reminds us how he was recruited by the MEK even when he was running the TIPF adjacent to Ashraf camp. How he tried his best to make life hell for the residents so they would not leave the MEK.

++ Mohammad Reza Rowhani and Karim Ghassim, two heads of the so-called Commissions of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published a joint resignation statement. They say they do not want to go into detail, however they have listed a long list of human rights abuses and political mistakes – which are already well documented everywhere else. Apparently they do not want to bring internal affairs into the open but felt compelled to mention a few things they simply couldn’t bear any more. Commentators responded by pointing out that these two individuals represented the last remaining ‘non-MEK’ members of the NCRI and that now there is no way for the MEK’s Washington lobby office to pretend that it does not belong to the MEK.

++ Several articles welcomed the resignation of Rowhani and Ghassim from the NCRI but say they have not explained enough about what is going on inside the cult. In particular Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejat (Rajavi’s former translator, now in France) has said they need to become more involved in rescuing others who they now acknowledge are hostages in Iraq.

++ Ms Nasrin Ebrahimi published an article comparing the life of women in camps Ashraf and Liberty with the way Maryam Rajavi lives in Paris. She publishes pictures which do not need explanation as they vividly contrast the life of the two. She also showed some pictures of herself in the camp and now in Switzerland and has titled it ‘In Your Face Maryam Rajavi!’

++ Mr Maziar Ezzat Panah published his article in the well known opposition site Akhbar-e Ruz (Daily News) titled ‘A look at the psychology of the Internal Revolution in the MEK’ which gives a long detailed explanation of the MEK’s cult practices.

++ Adel Azami a young ex-member, who is a painter and poet, published a personal account called ‘Militia’. He describes one of the brainwashing sessions involving a young recruit who had been separated from his MEK family from childhood and raised by other families and in orphanages and then brought back to Ashraf from a western country. The recruit was being beaten, spat at and sworn at by hundreds of people in a salon for daring to ask his commander for more time to sleep. Azami says that when he saw him the following day he asked ‘they swore at you, accusing you one minute of being a child and the next minute of not being a child anymore. And at one point you smiled and your punishment got even worse. What were you thinking!? The young man replied, ‘I wasn’t trying to annoy anyone, but I suddenly remembered that yesterday was my birthday and I forgot where I was as my mind filled with memories of getting presents and eating cake with my family.

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