Iran Interlink Weekly Digest- 13

++ A great deal has been written this week prompted by the anniversary of the Forough Javidan (Eternal Light) operation, mostly focusing on the suffering and disaster caused by Massoud Rajavi’s recklessness and his living in his own dream world.

++ Hojat Seyed Ismaeli, former Mojahedin Khalq intelligence officer at the time of Saddam Hussein, has gone into detail about how Forough Javidan contributed to the change of the organisation into a full cult.

++ Another writer, Hanif Heydar Nejat, in number 4 of a series of articles goes into detail as an eye witness to events just before, during and after Forough Javidan from the point of view of someone who was in contact with both the high ranks and lower ranks at that time.

++ Bijan Niabatti, who has occasionally written critically about the MEK with the hope of correcting them, has now reached a dead end as this week the MEK has reacted by lumping him with all the other critics and started labelling him. Instead of answering him they now treat him as their enemy.

++ In an interview with the Reporters’ Club in Tehran, Ebrahim Khodabandeh has talked about many issues including the collective marriage of all the women in the MEK to Massoud Rajavi. Under the title ‘Forced Marriage Of All MEK Women’ he confirms this action and goes on to explain that the purpose behind the Ideological Revolution was to facilitate Rajavi’s ownership of all the MEK’s women members.

++ Many blogs and articles have been written about how the MEK have tried to re-create the closed environment of Iraq in the camp in Albania and how operatives have been sent there to try to isolate the newly arrived refugees.

++ The United Nations has announced that the MEK have again stopped co-operating with the UNHCR interview process in Camp Liberty.

++ Many articles have questioned why Massoud Rajavi is still in hiding after ten years and speculate on the various possible reasons for it.

++ Karim Ghassim (former NCRI member) was interviewed by Ahmad Rafat on Raha TV. This created a stir as he spoke publicly and openly about what was happening inside the MEK. Ebrahim Khodabandeh published an article about the internal problems of the Mojahedin Khalq and how they have become more and more desperate as they realise that the separation of people like Ghassim is having an effect on the people inside and around the MEK. He says this interview has really panicked them. In the same vein, a few Iranian personalities have published articles about the separation of formerly loyal supporters and have criticised the MEK for resorting to viscous character assassination instead of simply answering people’s concerns.

++ Karim Ghassim has also published an article this week complaining that Massoud Rajavi is postponing the answer to every question until ‘after the overthrow’. Ghassim says this is unacceptable and that the overthrow of Iran’s regime is a serious issue, not something to be played with by the MEK who have to answer for their deeds today, not later.

++ Mahnaz Ghezlou’s article for Pejvak Iran is titled ‘Mr Rajavi, you have been shaking hands with your own ignorance’. She details his words and actions and asks ‘what has Iraj Mesdaghi done apart from ask a few questions which made you get so hysterical?’ She goes through Rajavi’s audio speeches in which he accuses the survivors (escapees) of being homosexual and sleeping with Iraqi workers. She reminds Rajavi that in this day and age, being homosexual is not regarded as something to be held against someone or to use to whitewash the questions they ask, and says this kind of reaction fools nobody and he has to answer people.

++ The Government of Iraq has issued an announcement that the Mojahedin Khalq have to be removed from Iraq more quickly. A copy has been sent to UNAMI asking the UN to get more serious about this issue according to the agreements they have signed up to.

++ A statement from Ted Poe’s website from 2012 has been translated into Farsi. In it he welcomes the removal of the MEK from the US terrorism list and claims “The MEK long ago renounced violence, and in recent years, has been actively working with US intelligence agencies to get information on activities inside Iran. Ted Poe, Congressman for 2nd District of Texas is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

++ Mohammad Karami continues his series on the suspicious deaths inside the Mojahedin Khalq. This week he focuses on the death of Mohammad Norouzi and some others as they lived and died, or were allegedly killed, inside the MEK.

++ Arash Sigarchi an American/Iranian journalist who contributes to Voice of America and other media, writes in his weblog ‘The Mojahedin Khalq swears its innocence but is caught red-handed.’

He details the reports of the United Nations and other international bodies which allege human rights abuses inside the MEK; sources which all say the same thing. Sigarchi compares the MEK’s propaganda machine to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s television. When anything is said in their favour the source is always reliable, but if it is against them they either ignore it or claim the sources is not reliable, even when it is the same source as for a previous issue.

++ Writing for U-T San Diego, Trent Seibert reports that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, a long term MEK lobbyist, now claims he was unaware that the group which paid for his trip to Paris was not a real charity. He will “pay out of his own pocket the nearly $10,000 it cost for his trip to France last month.”

“Filner’s announcement came one day after U-T Watchdog reported that the IRS had no record of the organization Filner said paid his tab of being a U.S. tax-exempt nonprofit.”

“Filner said his $9,839 in travel costs to Paris were covered by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group Filner initially claimed was a charity organized under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).”

““I have become aware that the OIAC’s representations regarding its non-profit status were inaccurate,” Filner said in a news release late Wednesday. “For this reason, I will reimburse OIAC for all amounts it paid for my travel and expenses in its international conference in Paris, France, above the $440 gift limit.””

++ Javad Firouzmand’s article for Aryia Iran is titled ‘The Philosophy behind the MEK leader’s reaction to critics and ex-members’. He explains that from Massoud Rajavi’s point of view as a cult leader the only reaction he can have is to reject everyone and everything. This is because he would otherwise have to explain that he is sitting in the place of God for the MEK members, something he cannot do in the outside world. Rajavi only cares about keeping his cult members so he has to protect them from the outside world and he therefore relies on activating the cult phobia that keeps them in line.

++ Bahar Irani has published an article in the Mojahedin.ws website titled ‘MEK: capable of change or changed under pressure?’

He explains why the MEK are incapable of changing their ideology and how the apparent changes to their behaviour over the past thirty years are simply a reaction to the pressures on them not a deliberate change.

 August 2, 2013

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