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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 36

++ In an Open Letter to Ban Ki Moon, Massoud Khodabandeh demanded an investigation into Massoud Rajavi’s role in the deaths of the 53 Camp Ashraf victims. He wrote, ” The impunity given to Rajavi by Western governments from the start of his stay in Iraq in 1986 until now has given him such latitude that he is able to kill his own people and blame the Iraqi authorities for it without any fear of investigation or recrimination. Commenting on the death of Massoud Dalili, Khodabandeh said,” For me, and for anyone who has had any dealings with the MEK, it is absolutely clear that this person, who was registered with the UN in Baghdad as an escapee and who suddenly went missing one day has been forcefully or deceitfully taken back by the MEK to Camp Ashraf… and has been kept there clandestinely and when they realised they would have to get rid of him they tried to destroy the evidence of his presence there.” Asking Ban Ki Moon to stand up to the Pentagon, the letter concluded, ” There are 42 surviving members who were moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty who are eye witnesses to what happened that day. They would all have known Massoud Dalili. Nobody has seen or heard from them since the time they were handed back to the MEK commanders in Camp Liberty. The MEK’s past behaviour and the impunity Massoud Rajavi clearly enjoys to imprison and kill his own followers strongly suggests that many of them and others in the camp are being mistreated behind closed doors. How many more deaths will there be?”

++ Massoud Rajavi has reacted angrily toward the request of family members who have asked for the names of those injured in the Camp Liberty attack on September 1st to be made public. Rajavi denounced their request as a plot by the Intelligence Ministry of Iran which he says is trying to “dismantle” the Mojahedin Khalq by trying to connect the families with the members in order to persuade them to go to Iran. Many people have described this as the most ridiculous statement ever issued by Rajavi, reminding him that he was the one who said the Iraqi government and its PM are working on the instructions of Iran and therefore firstly, according to this logic, Iran should already have these names since the injured people are in Iraqi hospitals. And secondly, they ask, what is in your mind and what do you think Iran can do even if they do have these names? Many have pointed out that as ridiculous as Rajavi and his statements have become, it is obvious that his greatest fear is for any contact between the injured members and the outside world, even with their immediate families, while they are in hospital. Many commentators have expressed their disgust that Rajavi is dismissing the families of his hostages in the camp as some sort of monsters and working for some mysterious agents, while he himself has been massacring Iraqi and Iranian civilians during the time of Saddam and is now doing the dirty work of MOSSAD in killing Iranian scientists as well as providing support for Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.

++ A frequent subject for comment this week has been the mysterious and suspicious death of Massoud Dalili an ex member. Many people knew him personally and blame Rajavi and the MEK for his murder. They point to the fact that the MEK did not reveal his identity for weeks and admitted it only when the Iraqis formally identified his body. All 42 surviving witnesses from Camp Ashraf knew him and would even recognise his voice. Javad Firouzmand in Paris has published an in depth analysis of the MEK video in which every part of it contradicts the next part. He has also identified the narrator as Hassan Nezamalmolk, one of the MEK’s torturers from the Saddam era. Firouzmand describes his own ordeal in the camp and how he was directly tortured by Hassan Nezamalmolk and Mehdi Abrishamchi (first husband of Maryam Rajavi and Saddam’s Mokhaberat section representative in the Mojahedin Khalq currently residing in Paris). Iran Fanoos in Germany published an article about the situation and identified the root of these problems to be the ideology of the group. The article is titled, “The ideology of death and humiliation”.

++ Ban Ki Moon appointed Jane Holl Lute as his Special Adviser for Relocation of Camp Hurriya Residents Outside of Iraq. In response Hadi Afshar (Saeed Jamali) has issued a short note on Pezvak Iran website welcoming the news and asking everyone to write to her and put her in the picture as well as asking her help to get the remaining MEK members out of Iraq ASAP.


++ During his visit to Iran, Jack Straw, former British Foreign Secretary, met with some of the families of the victims of MEK terrorism. He described the MEK as a terrorist organisation. Straw was part of a four person parliamentary group comprising Ben Wallace, Conservative MP, Lord Lamont, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP. The Britain-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group seeks better relations with Iran. The delegates met with counterparts from the Iranian Majlis.

++ The MEK have announced the death of two members from heart attacks. The MEK said the cause of the heart attacks was the missile attack on Camp Liberty. Mohammad B commented briefly on his blog that from one side, the ages and the conditions of the members should be considered yet on the other side Rajavi still issues statements in the name of the National Liberation Army claiming he will topple both the Iranian and Iraqi governments soon. Mohammd B points out that two people have died from heart attack caused by missiles that have not even been near them, how do they expect to fight with two countries at the same time with this kind of morale?

++ The Mojahedin Khalq have published an article on their website as an attempt to somehow deflect the supporters’ claim that Rajavi has been and is responsible for all the problems MEK is facing. The MEK are basically saying that “if Ayatollah Khomeini had not rejected the candidature of Massoud Rajavi [for the Presidency or as an MP] at the start of revolution then things would have been different”. Many writers reacted to this recent claim from both the supporters of the IRI and the opposition to it alike. One of the oppositionist reaction is titled, “If Khomeini had not rejected the candidature of Massoud Rajavi, Iran would have certainly been a second North Korea” referring to the cultish practices inside MEK.

++ Abbass Mousavi from Habilian Association has written about the MEK position toward Iraq and Syria. He refers to the MEK announcements in support of Al Qaeda in Al Anbar and their joint claim that they would ‘topple the Iraqi Establishment by armed struggle and force’. He also refers to MEK statements in favour of supporting and participating in the “armed struggle” to topple the Syrian Establishment as well as their statements in support of fugitive Saddamists. He makes the point that with this declaration, Iraq can legitimately act, and in fact it is the duty of the government of Iraq to act, to finish off the MEK at the same time as finishing off the Al Qaeda forces in the Al Anbar province (near the Jordanian border), and the north (near the Syrian border). Several people reacted to this article, in particular from the families, who remind Mr. Mousavi that Rajavi has taken the MEK members hostage in Camp Liberty and this is the main factor that the Iraqi government has to take into account as well as other concerns.

++ Atefeh Eghbal from The Campaign to Transfer Camp Liberty Residents to 3rd Countries has issued a statement warning that the lives of the remainder of the residents are in imminent danger as Iraqi forces have started engaging with Al Qaeda forces, specifically in Al Anbar province. She points to statements published daily by the MEK (NCRI, Rajavi) which ask for greater protection in the camp, better and more facilities, more support from the Americans and everything under the sun except mentioning the need to get these people out of there, or asking for the transfer process to be expedited. She was also interviewed by the BBC Persian programme about the situation of these people, in which she again emphasised that all parties should accept and cooperate to remove the remaining residents to 3rd countries ASAP.

10 January 2014

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