Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 18

++ In English language media, the MEK have been on overdrive to convey the message that Iran’s President Rohani is not a moderate, and also that the MEK haven’t killed anyone and these accusations are lies created by the Iranian regime and therefore the west should not talk to Iran but instead talk to the MEK. Among these lobbyists, Raymond Tanter has unexpectedly been given a platform in Foreign Policy magazine. The reaction of the readers has been nothing but criticism of the magazine’s editors for allowing the MEK to misuse their publication. In a similar vein The Hill has published an item on its blog by a member of the British House of Lords, Lord Kenneth Maginnis of Drumglass, with a specifically MEK version of Iranian history.

++ In English there have been various articles questioning the MEK’s use of paid lobbyists like Bob Filner, and how the influence of Israeli interests in US foreign policy is shown by support for terrorist groups like the MEK.

++ In English Ebrahim Khodabandeh has written in response to Massoud Rajavi’s message telling his followers to “get lost”. Khodabandeh compares Rajavi to the deposed Shah saying, “the extent of Rajavi’s rudeness is beyond imagining. He used his vicious tongue to lash those who are the most loyal and supportive of his followers. The Shah at least did not call those who want to leave [Iran] traitors and did not insult them and was, in any case, talking to those who were against him from the beginning, and not those who had given everything for him.” In conclusion Khodabandeh addresses the MEK’s supporters directly and suggests: “Rajavi’s supporters should observe how he deals with his most self-sacrificing followers and how he rewards them after years of loyalty. What would have happened if Rajavi had real power, how would he have dealt with his opponents? Wouldn’t he be worse than any dictator in the world? And so I must ask: “isn’t it time for those who continue to support Rajavi to recognise their mistake and keep their distance from him?””

++ Over this week Hanif Heydar Nejat has published the last parts of his examination of the Forough Javidan operation from his personal point of view. Reading through this, it is abundantly clear that although he only describes his own experiences and has not even mentioned things that other ex-member claim, there is more than enough here to shed light on the inside working of the MEK and in a normal court to convict Rajavi for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

++ Mohammad Razaghi, ex-member and human rights activist in France, was this week’s guest on Mardom TV. He expanded on the reasons that Karim Ghassim has given for his resignation from NCRI and then went on to produce evidence of torture and murder inside the MEK with the names and addresses of both victims and perpetrators of these crimes.

++ Edward Termador in Germany has written an open letter to Pope Francis explaining his situation as a Christian inside the MEK during the time of Saddam Hussein. Edward was a POW in the Iraqi camps for nine years before being given to the MEK where he spent another twelve years. During this time the MEK would use his Christian background to advertise themselves to the church in Baghdad, but when he stopped cooperating with them he was, as usual, put under immense pressure and ended up in Ramardi refugee camp. In Ramardi, while still under pressure from the MEK, he rejected an offer by the Vatican to take him to Italy and instead he insisted on staying to ‘help the MEK to bring democracy to Iran’. Termador describes the situation at that time – closed doors, no contact with the outside world – and says this has not changed. He asks the new Pope to help the current hostages in Camp Liberty.

++ Within the framework of its attacks on President Rohani, the MEK held a picket in Paris with paid speakers and asylum seekers being given 50 Euros to attend. The picket was ridiculed by many including Iran based Edaalat Association which represents the victims of MEK terrorism. Edaalat published pictures of the small gathering of tens of people and asks how did the MEK argument move from attacking Rohani to the demand that they all be moved back to Camp Ashraf. This is, it points out, while their own supporters have signed a petition to ask Rajavi to send these people to third countries and have this week written many articles among themselves pleading with Rajavi to let their friends go to third countries in the west.

++ Many articles have been written in response to Rajavi’s ‘get lost’ speech criticising Rajavi’s backers – the US and Israel – for their inhumane way of pursuing their political agenda. They say Rajavi is a known creature but you shouldn’t do the same.

++ Rumours have arisen that Massoud Rajavi has been seen in Tel Aviv, alleging that he is currently living under an American protection programme there. But although the rumours come from various knowledgeable sources, no concrete proof has been offered to back them up.

++ Manouchehr Hezarkhani, the last non-MEK member of the NCRI, who everyone knows is there because he has nowhere else to go and has financial problems, has emerged this week in an interview on the MEK’s TV to support Rajavi and dismiss his critics, both external and internal. Hezarkhani says ‘why is everyone asking everything from Rajavi?’ Many reacted to this, including Hamed Sarafpour, who says that for 30 years many people have been putting their trust and lives in Rajavi’s hands not knowing that he was selling them to Saddam and his likes for money. He says, ‘We are not asking questions, we want him in court to answer for what he has done. We are not expecting answers from him, we want justice’. (Hezarkhani has been under pressure since the latest resignations and round of internal criticisms to join the rest of those who are paid by Rajavi to swear at others like Ghasim and Rowhani, but he has refused to do so. Many believe that coming out now in support of Rajavi is the nearest thing the MEK have been able to get out of him so they can say ‘OK he did his bit as well’.)

++ The Security and Defence Committee of Iraq’s Parliament announced this week that the remains of Mojahedin Khalq cult is a serious threat to the security of the country. Ghasem Alarajab, a member of the committee, told reporters that clear evidence is available that the MEK and Al Qaida in Iraq and the remains of Saddam’s regime are working hand in hand as one group in Iraq. He adds that this is not a new phenomenon as this cooperation started in the 1980s. He also said there is clear evidence that these three groups are actively involved in terrorism in Syria today. Therefore they are not only a threat to Iraq, but are a threat to the whole region. Alarajab added that dealing with the MEK is difficult because it is openly supported by the Americans. The Americans clearly support terrorism in Iraq under the guise of supposedly protecting the human rights of the individuals involved.

++ Hassoun Al Fathlavi, another member of Iraq’s Security and Defence Committee, has said that ‘no Iraqi would wish to have this terrorist cult on our soil and as much as their backers want to use our country as a base for terrorism in the region, we will clear up our country and root out terrorism from Iraq’. He goes on to say that the country’s constitution states that Iraq cannot be used as a platform to attack neighbouring countries, especially Iran. ‘The new Iraq is not the same as during the era of Saddam and we will not bow to the pressure of the backers of terrorism in our country’, he said.

++ Many have reacted to the MEK announcements which have been made through paid adverts in western media saying they are worried that Camp Liberty will be attacked. Many have linked this claim to the impending visit of President Rohani to the UN General Assembly and say that the MEK will probably create a Self-Inflicted-Wound in order to create the grounds to undermine theirs and Israel’s main worry which is the new government in Iran.

++ Razieh Matini (Iraj Mesdaghi’s wife) writes in Pejvak Iran about her own experience in Iran and as a prisoner and how she left the country. She goes on to say that the MEK have dealt in lies and have character assassinated everyone for all this time, including Mesdaghi himself. She poses the question that even if one accepts the 30 years of lies and deception (calling people agents of the regime, etc) why the MEK still can’t give even a small answer to their questions. Basically, the MEK cannot answer people’s questions but these will not go away no matter how much the MEK swear at everyone.

++ Irandidban has translated into Farsi an article by Greg Scoblete in The Compass on August 20 2013, ‘Why Is There Bipartisan Support for the MEK? Because Politicians Like Getting Paid’, highlighting the corruption and influence of money in the top circles of American political life. The article lists various financial rewards which the MEK pays and points out that these figures were being paid to speakers and lobbyists even before the US removed the MEK from its terrorism list. Money is somehow replacing justice and national policy in America.

++ Sahar Family Foundation published an article pointing out that the internal questioning and doubt is increasing whether in Liberty or in Europe. The problem is not confined to Mesdaghi’s letter or the resignation of NCRI members. It is the internal questioning that worries Rajavi and he is trying to keep it under control. But according to information which Sahar has from inside the MEK it is only getting more and more. Questions, for example, such as: ‘Why does everyone become an Iranian agent straight after – or even before – leaving the MEK?’ Yaghmai, Ghassim, Rowhani and Mesdaghi are named in this respect. Another question they can’t stop is ‘Where is Rajavi after ten years?’ This question has been banned but they can’t contain it any more. Another popular question is ‘Where is the national in the National Council of Resistance?, why is it only the MEK and no other news or statement issues from it except about the MEK?’ Yet another awkward question is ‘Why it is that the audience at Maryam Rajavi’s events comprises mostly non-Iranians and the speakers are all non-Iranians?’ A more specific question is, ‘The MEK used to have many supporters in Scandinavia, but not many of these Iranians come to Paris any more, why?’ The MEK reacted desperately by holding meetings in various cities around Europe and trying to approach supporters in a conciliatory way about these questions. Although the MEK has given up saying the questions are banned, instead they merely listen to placate the supporters, but never give answers to their questions. The same situation prevails in Camp Liberty. During the meeting in which Rajavi told his followers to ‘get lost’, the audience were told, if you have questions please write them down. To the question, ‘When will the regime be toppled?’, Rajavi answered, “Nobody knows, and I don’t know either. My responsibility is your situation on The Day of Judgement, I have to rescue you in preparation for that.” Therefore, after thirty year of using his followers he is now saying don’t ask questions I only have to make sure you are OK when you die. Rajavi apparently believes he is responsible for heaven and hell and has no need to answer for what he does in this world. This is while Rajavi has now admitted that Khomeini won the revolution through the mosques and with popular support – up to this time Rajavi has always claimed that Khomeini stole his right to be the leader of the revolution. Rajavi seems to have given up on this world and is now only worried about the next world. Sahar’s article concludes that it is clear that the collapse of the organisation is not far away because as a cult it only survives by stopping people’s questions through various means of manipulation and deception. Once the questions start, there is no way back.

August 23 2013

Service

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